2003-01-25 Ricardo Mayorga w rsc 3 Vernon Forrest, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, California, USA - WBA/WBC/The Ring

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2003-01-25 Ricardo Mayorga w rsc 3 Vernon Forrest, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, California, USA - WBA/WBC/The Ring. Referee: Marty Denkin. Unifying both titles, Mayorga (146) proved to be too strong for Forrest (146½), who was dragged into a war of attrition by his powerful rival and suffered because of it. On the attack from the opening bell, the wild-swinging Mayorga, smashing in big left hooks and heavy rights, put Forrest down with a head punch and although it did not look a genuine knockdown it was classified as one. Following this, Forrest took the fight to Mayorga in the second round and matched him when whacking in left hooks to the body and right uppercuts to the head. There was more of the same in the third, but after having no effect on Mayorga and being hurt by a solid right to the temple, the WBC champion was sent to the floor by lefts and rights as the Nicaraguan unloaded. Although getting back on his feet, Forrest appeared unstable and on the 2.06 mark the referee called the fight off to make sure that the latter took no further punishment that night. The Ring magazine’s championship belt changed hands on the result.

On 13 September, a contest for the vacant WBA ‘second tier’ title saw Jose Antonio Rivera beat Michel Trabant (w pts 12 at the Estrel Convention Centre, Berlin, Germany).