Originally created 07/22/02

Rematch victory suits Forrest fine

INDIANAPOLIS - It was billed as the "Rematch of the Century." But as it turned out, Saturday night's Vernon Forrest-Shane Mosley fight wasn't even the "Rematch of the Night."

That distinction belonged to the Antonio Tarver-Eric Harding undercard matchup, when Tarver stopped Harding with a technical knockout in the fourth round.

If you think Forrest - an Augusta native who out-pointed Mosley for a unanimous decision in the rematch of their January fight - was interested that his fight was less than exciting and, at times downright dull, you're wrong.

"I don't care what (the media) writes," said Forrest, who retained his WBC Welterweight championship. "I won the fight, and that's it."

Forrest (35-0) might not have looked like one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world with his methodical victory, but there's no question he's high on the list.

Even Mosley (38-2) couldn't help but grudgingly compliment the fighter he's bashed for the past six months.

"When I got inside, I knew he'd clinch very quickly," Mosley said. "I guess he was effective at that. I still feel I'm a great fighter. Forrest is just the only one that's gotten away from a knockout. Whatever his strategy was, he did a great job of it."

Forrest's strategy was to use his height advantage to keep the powerful Mosley at bay with his jab. When that failed and Mosley found his way inside, Forrest clinched as quickly as he could.

When he wasn't playing defense, Forrest was throwing punches. Although he landed only six more shots than Mosley (120-114), he attempted almost 200 more (446-259).

"When you fight a guy that's your equal, it's tough," Forrest said. "I was frustrating him; he was frustrating me. I just kept my composure and kept working."

It all led to a win Jack Mosley, Shane's father and trainer, doesn't believe Forrest deserves.

"I felt like Shane won the fight," the elder Mosely said. "We're not going to cry about the loss, but in my heart, I felt Shane won the fight."

At Saturday's post-fight news conference, Forrest said he's interested in unifying the welterweight titles - the IBF holder is Michele Piccirillo and the WBA champion is Ricardo Mayorga - or moving up to the super welterweight division to fight the winner of the Fernando Vargas-Oscar de la Hoya fight in September.

As for Mosley, he also said he wants to move to the 154-pound weight class and fight the Vargas-de la Hoya victor.

For now, he's done with Forrest and the 147-pound weight class.

"I don't feel (Forrest) is better than me," Mosley said. "Statistically, he was, and I guess the judges saw that he beat me. But there's a lot of guys that lost, and de la Hoya was one of them when I beat him. You just have to move on and fight other fighters, I guess."

Reach Josh Katzowitz at (706) 823-3216 or josh.katzowitz@augustachronicle.com.


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