2001-09-29 Steve Forbes w pts 12 John Brown, Miccosukee Gaming Casino, Miami, Florida, USA - IBF

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2001-09-29 Steve Forbes w pts 12 John Brown, Miccosukee Gaming Casino, Miami, Florida, USA - IBF. Referee: Frank Santore. Scorecards: 117-111, 115-113, 115-113. Making his first defence, Forbes (130), a clever southpaw, proved too smart for the man he had beaten for the vacant title when boxing his way to victory without any mishaps, apart from being shaken up in the sixth and cut over the left eye in the eighth. The stocky, brawling Brown (130) was always right in front of Forbes as he banged away, but his punches either lacked quality or just did not land, and immediately prior to the final bell he was virtually out on his feet, having been stunned by a vicious burst of punches.

On 18 August 2002 at the Pechanga Resort & Casion, Temecula, California, Forbes (132¾) came in over the weight for a defence against David Santos and although the fight went ahead with Forbes winning on points over 12 rounds, the title was declared vacant.