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It's Mosley's Fight to Lose

July 20, 2002|Steve Springer

Vernon Forrest is a 6-5 favorite to beat Shane Mosley tonight, but the betting public is wrong. They were right the first time when they made Mosley a favorite in January.

Nothing has changed. Mosley still has the tools to be considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. And Forrest is still a solid but unspectacular fighter who has amassed his impressive record by beating a bunch of less than spectacular fighters. His biggest victories were over Vince Phillips and Raul Frank, two fighters more likely to be found on the list of Who's He? than Who's Who?

Much has been made over whether or not the head butt in the first Mosley-Forrest fight was a deliberate tactic by Forrest. The better question in terms of tonight's fight is how much it affected Mosley.

If it seriously dazed and confused him, leading to the two knockdowns, then tonight's fight must be judged on what would have happened if there had not been a head butt.

Mosley dominated the first round, showing he was not bothered by Forrest's style, before the head butt in the second round.

Assuming there is no similar head butt tonight, why will anything be different? Mosley has the speed, the mobility and the mastery of the ring. He has also devastating power, the result being 35 knockouts.

Forrest certainly has the power, best demonstrated by a fearful right hand. But that power will be useless if he can't zero in on his target.

Have all those who are predicting a Forrest victory forgotten the praise heaped on Mosley until January, forgotten all the frustrated opponents he left swinging at thin air after he turned on the speed, or gasping for air after he turned on the power?

Yes, if there is another head butt that leaves Mosley in the twilight zone, he is in trouble. But if not, it is Forrest who will be in distress.

Look for Mosley to again be Mosley and win by knockout in the 11th round.

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