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Former boxing champion Vernon Forrest shot to death

Police say he was the victim of an attempted robbery in Atlanta.

July 27, 2009|Associated Press

Vernon Forrest, a former two-division champion who gained stardom when he became the first boxer to defeat Shane Mosley, was shot to death in Atlanta in what police are calling an attempted robbery.

Sgt. Lisa Keyes said in an e-mail Sunday that the 38-year-old Forrest was shot several times in the back late Saturday on a street just southwest of downtown. Keyes said there were no suspects.

Fulton County medical examiner Michele Stauffenberg confirmed that the case was a homicide and that the autopsy showed Forrest died from "multiple gunshot wounds involving the torso and thigh." Keyes said a police report on the shooting was not immediately available.

Charles Watson, the boxer's manager, said police and witnesses told him that Forrest had stopped at a gas station to put air in one of his car tires when a man approached asking for money.

"Somehow, Vernon had his wallet out and the guy snatched his wallet and started running," Watson said. "Vernon pursued after him. The guy turned the corner and Vernon didn't see him. He turned around to go back to the car. That's when he started firing."

Forrest, a native of Augusta, Ga., who lived in Atlanta, was a member of the 1992 Olympic team along with Oscar De La Hoya. The popular fighter later won welterweight and junior-middleweight titles and compiled a professional record of 41-3 with 29 knockouts.

Longtime publicist Kelly Swanson said Forrest was not married and had one son, Vernon Jr.

This is the third high-profile death of a boxing champion in the last month.

Hall of Famer Alexis Arguello, the mayor of Managua, Nicaragua, was found dead at his home on July 1 in an apparent suicide.

Two weeks ago, popular brawler Arturo Gatti was found dead in a condominium at a resort in Brazil. Gatti's wife remains the prime suspect in that case.



Official: Massa's life remains in danger

Formula One driver Felipe Massa remained in "life-threatening" but stable condition in Budapest, Hungary, after surgery on multiple skull fractures.

Peter Bazso, the AEK hospital medical director, told reporters that Massa would remain sedated until today but will be awakened periodically during that time.

When asked whether Massa's life remained in danger, Bazso answered: "Yes, of course."

Massa, who drives for Ferrari, crashed Saturday during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix when a spring from another car bounced into his helmet as the 28-year-old driver reached speeds of about 120 mph.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton won the Hungarian Grand Prix. Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was second and Red Bull's Mark Webber finished third.

Will Power led almost the entire way to capture the Rexall Edmonton Indy in a race marred by a pit fire that burned driver Tony Kanaan's hands and face.

Power, the first-year driver for Penske Racing, finished 1.094 seconds ahead of teammate Helio Castroneves.

Target Chip Ganassi driver Scott Dixon was third.

Kanaan, the Brazilian driver for Andretti Green, was injured on his first pit stop when the ethanol fuel hose filling his car appeared to not shut off properly, dousing him and his car in fuel.

Seconds later the car caught fire, with Kanaan frantically struggling to free himself as crews doused his No. 11 Dallara Honda with water. Kanaan later waved to the crowd as he was led away for medical tests.

Antron Brown completed a sweep of the NHRA's Western swing, racing to a victory in top fuel at the FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.



Ginepri upsets Querrey in final

Unseeded Robby Ginepri, No. 95 in the ATP rankings, won his third career singles title by upsetting No. 3-seeded Sam Querrey, 6-2, 6-4, in the final of the Indianapolis Tennis Championships.

Top-ranked Dinara Safina won her 12th WTA tournament, rallying to beat defending champion Sara Errani of Italy, 6-7 (5), 6-1, 7-5, in the Slovenia Open at Portoroz. It was the first loss at the tournament for the fifth-seeded Errani. Safina was the first top-ranked player to compete at the Slovenia Open. . . . Nikolay Davydenko won his first title of the year, beating Paul-Henri Mathieu, 6-4, 6-2, in the German Open final at Hamburg. The second-seeded Davydenko captured the 15th title of his career and became the first Russian to win the clay-court tournament.

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