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Forrest Decisions Mora, Recaptures WBC Light Middleweight Title

forrest45434.jpgBy Scott Gilfoid: Three months after losing his World Boxing Council light middleweight crown to Sergio Mora (21-1-1, 5 KOs), a former star from The Contender reality television series, Forrest recaptured it on Saturday night with a lopsided 12-round unanimous decision at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The final judges’ scores were 117-110, 119-108 and 118-109. Using power shots and a high work rate, the 37 year-old Forrest dominated Mora, cutting him and swelling up his face with heavy shots. Mora, who looked and fought with a lot of confidence in the first fight in June, looked flustered, seemingly not knowing what to do to stay competitive with Forrest, and looking badly tired by the 4th round.

It’s not clear what changed from the last fight with Mora, other than perhaps Forrest being in better shape, fighting more relaxed and throwing and landing many more power shots than he did in the first fight. The power shots clearly bothered Mora, who worked hard, moving a lot of the time, to try and prevent being hit as much as possible.

However, Forrest wasn’t deterred by a few missed punches, and kept pouring them out until he would eventually land something against the slippery Snake-like Mora. When Mora would eventually get hit with big shots, he looked uncomfortable and stressed out.

Mora fought his best in the first two rounds, which I had him winning closely due to his movement and hard jabs he was landing, but he slowed down noticeably after that, and seemed to focus more on moving, trying to prevent from getting hit by Forrest. This focus on defense rather than his offense, meant that he was essentially handing the fight over the Forrest. It looked as if Mora was hoping to wait him out and try to take the fight to him in the later rounds.

When Mora did eventually try and take the fight to Forrest by the 10th round, Mora was already hopelessly behind in the fight and needed a knockout to win. Mora, mostly a light puncher, had little chance of scoring a knockout, however. By this time, Forrest knew that he was on his way to win the fight, and fought relaxed, smiling often and fighting incredibly well, almost like he did earlier in his career.

Mora was knocked down at the end of the 7th round when he ran into a big left hook from Forrest, sending Mora falling into the ropes which held him up, preventing him from falling to the canvas. Though he technically didn’t go down, because the ropes held him up it was ruled as a knockdown by referee Vic Drakulich. Mora, though, wasn’t hurt by the shot, just surprised.

Mora looked good in the first two rounds, fighting well using movement, a hard jab and making Forrest miss with his shots. During that time in the fight, it looked almost like a repeat of the first fight. I could see that Forrest was in a little better shape than in the first fight, but it wasn’t giving him any results because of Mora’s speed and elusiveness. However, Forrest just kept on throwing punches, ignoring the fact that he was missing many of them and seemingly intent on throwing as many as he could so that he could land at least a certain amount of them.

In the third round, Forrest’s high volume offense began to show results as he tagged Mora with some big left hooks during the round and badly outworked him. Mora began to show signs of swelling over his right eye by the 4th round. It was a close round, but Forrest appeared to win it by virtue of landing the harder punches. In the 5th, Forrest fought well, hitting Mora hard with right hands to the head and body, Mora was cut over his left eye in the round.

Forrest dominated the sixth round, landing hard shots to the swelling face of Mora and keeping him totally in check. Mora’s defensive work, normally good, wasn’t working against Forrest, who appeared to be taking a page out of the offensive play book of welterweight champion Antonio Margarito, by trying to overwhelm Mora with punches. Forrest nailed Mora often with big shots in the 7th round, and by the end of the round, Mora became desperate and charged after Forrest.

However, this sense of desperation left Mora open for a perfect left hook by Forrest, who nailed him as he came running in and sent Mora flying against the ropes. Due to the ropes keeping Mora from falling, it was ruled a knockdown. Forrest eased off in the 8th and 9th rounds, fighting more relaxed, throwing less punches and focusing on throwing harder shots. Still, he looked to have both of them by a close margin. Forrest might have lost the 9th, but came on strong in the last thirty seconds of the round with a hard flurry of shots that Mora tried to duck and dodge as best as he could, but he couldn’t duck of them and was tagged by a couple.

The fight turned dull in rounds ten through eleven, as Forrest did just enough to win the rounds. Mora had taken too many shots to the head by then, and he didn’t have it in him to try and take control of the rounds. He just looked tired and beaten. Mora came on strong in the 12th round, charging at Forrest and gamely trying to score a knockout. However, Mora’s lack of power kept him from landing anything significant and he ended up once against getting hit by a lot of big hooks from Forrest.

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