Temecula, California (BoxingGurus.com) - WBA Welterweight champion Ricardo Mayorga (24-3-1-1, 22 KO) used his "swing for the fences" style tonight to hit a grand slam by knocking out Vernon Forrest (35-1-0-1, 26 KO) and adding the WBC title to his quickly growing collection.
"I was fighting a clown," said Mayorga through an interpreter. "I didn't knock him out in the first round because my corner told me to take it easy."
Mayorga instead stopped Forrest at 2:06 of the 3rd round, at the Pechanga Resort in Temecula, CA on HBO, when referee Marty Denkin decided Forrest was unable to continue. Mayorga landed a devastating right hand that sent Forrest crashing into the ropes. Forrest was up fairly quickly, but it was clear Forrest was not all there, but of course that was not his take.
"He caught me with a good shot. I got up," said an obviously disappointed Forrest. "I didn't think the fight should have been stopped."
Forrest dominated the 1st round keeping Mayorga far enough outside where his wild bombs couldn’t come close to landing. But at the end of the round, Forrest was knockdown by what appeared to be a push, more than a punch. Denkin ruled it a knockdown and that set the tone for the 2nd round, where Forrest was going o come out and start a war, a war that Forrest wasn’t truly prepared for and did not have enough ammunition for.
The 2nd round had both fighters giving and taking punishment, with Forrest getting the better of Mayorga as he mixed in uppercuts to go with his straight right and controlled the round.
“I got away from the game plan…I went out there to establish respect,” said Forrest.
The 3rd round started out much like the 2nd, with both fighters in the middle of the ring exchanging punches, but this time Mayorga was landing the cleaner and crisper punches, mostly overhand rights. Then about halfway through the round, Mayorga landed a few big right hands ending with a HUGE right hand to the left temple of Forrest.
Mayorga might have summed the night up best by saying: “I don’t have a beautiful style, but I do have strength and power.”
Forrest indicated in the post fight interview that a rematch clause was in the contract and that Forrest would want it immediately.
On the undercard, former WBA Junior Welterweight champion Joel Casamayor (29-1, 18 KO) won a unanimous decision over a game Nate "The Galaxy Warrior" Campbell (23-1, 21 KO). Campbell started out very strong, but after the 3rd round, Casamayor figured out Campbell's awkward style and took control the rest of the way. The punch stats were in Casamayor’s favor, barely, with Casamayor landing 167 of 581 punches (29%) and Campbell landing 141 of 481 punches (29%). The judge’s scorecards were more lopsided at 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 all for Casamayor. BoxingGurus.com had it 96-94 for Casamayor.
In other action this evening, Sharmba Mitchell (51-3, 30 KO) continued his quest for a rematch with Kostya Tszyu with an impressive 4th round TKO of Carlos Vilches (38-3-2, 24 KO) at Bally's Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ on Showtime. Mitchell dominated from the outset landing a plethora of punches from his vast arsenal. Mitchell put Vilches down once in the 1st round and twice in the 4th before Vilches’ corner threw in the towel.
On the undercard, Diego Corrales (34-1, 28 KO) made a successful comeback after a year in jail and two years off from boxing. Corrales defeated an over-matched Mike Davis (23-14, 9 KO) via a 5th round TKO. Corrales is now campaigning in the Lightweight division and intends to stay very active in hopes of landing a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr. sometime in the future.