By Carlos Guzman
Vernon “The Viper” Forrest and Ike “Bazooka” Quartey hit NYC to promote their Aug. 5 bout, which takes place at the “Mecca of Boxing,” Madison Square Garden. FightNews.com published a posed shot of Quartey and Forrest in Gallagher’s Steak House meat locker. The size difference was huge in Forrest’s favor. But will it be the difference?
A size difference is only an advantage if you use it. Some fighters fight “short,” i.e., bend down to their opponent’s height. I’ve seen fighters with a reach advantage but don’t utilize the jab. Forrest doesn’t fall into this category (at least not now).
Forrest has shown an excellent jab that befuddles shorter opponents. Looking back to his battle with “Sugar” Shane Mosley, “The Viper” stunned Mosley with his long right that was setup by a joltin’ jab. “How do you deal with speed? A jab neutralizes speed,” Forrest told HBO commentator Larry Merchant.
In this bout, Forrest has a huge 4.5” height and 2” reach advantage over Quartey – so you’d think Vernon’s jab is the key to victory. The problem is, Forrest suffers from a shoulder injury which is limiting the use of his jab. Forrest can also be lured to close-quarter slug fest on the inside where his longer arms are at a disadvantage. People betting against Forrest also point to his chin as being questionable. Don’t forget he was knocked out by Mayorga in three rounds and was stunned in his last fight against Garcia.
I’ll break down Quartey's style and his chances as we get closer to fight time. But for now, although I’m picking Forrest to win a fight from the outside. No sportsbook odds have yet been posted, but this looks like a pick-em.
Taylor-Mora In The Works
This just in, promoter Lou DiBella advised the media that a potential bout between NBC’s “The Contender” star Sergio Mora and the current undisputed middleweight champion Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor is in the works for later this year.
"This would be a huge fight," DiBella said. "Because of The Contender, he's [Mora] one of the most recognized middleweights in the world. I've walked into casinos and have seen him get mobbed [by fans]."
"He's an excellent boxer. It's a credible fight," DiBella said.
Taylor recently got a draw against Winky Wright -- which many felt was thanks to a hometown advantage. I think Taylor needs more time with trainer Emmanuel Steward and to capitalize on his good lucks and charm. With Mora’s popularity out west, a fight in Vegas will bring them in from both sides of the country.
The “USS” Cunningham Sinks
Abandon ship. Steve “USS” Cunningham again failed to debut on TV thanks to another last-minute opponent pullout. Maybe that’s what the real bet should’ve been:
Will Guillermo Jones show up for the fight? All reports indicate that Jones is suffering from high blood pressure and problems with potassium. They should ship Jones from Panama in a “banana boat” and get his butt in the ring. As for Cunningham, he’s holding steady:
"This is the second fight in a row that has been canceled on me. I want to show my skills and my ability on Showtime. I found out on Wednesday (that Jones was not flying as scheduled to St. Louis). It was legitimate health problems, so my heart goes out to him. But I need to fight. My heart goes out to Jones. I give him the benefit of the doubt, and I wish him a speedy recovery so he can get back to his career.
“As for me, that IBF title has my name on it. All the cruiserweight belts have my name on them. I’ve been waiting. I just need the opportunity. There are a lot of colorful characters in this division from all over the world, and the fans want to see us fight for legitimate titles. When you are a unified champ, you have to step up. Money does not matter. If this fight was for $5 or $20, and on Showtime, I’d be right there to fight.
“I feel that I am ready and my time is now, but I am a man of God and he has his own plan. It will happen when the time is right, but I am frustrated.
“I have the spirit, heart and mind of a champion, and that is what boxing needs. I hope someone steps up, because I am ready. I will give a great show. ‘’
Cunningham is a talented fighter, but I’m starting to think the only way he’ll make it on TV is by starting his own station. How about a “fighters of faith” battle sponsored by the Trinity Broadcast Network?
Kermit Cintron pulled out of his bout against Richard Gutierrez -- which was scheduled on the undercard of the July 29 Vivian Harris vs. Mike Arnaoutis clash.
Clottey (28-1, 18 KOs), from the Bronx by way of Ghana, is currently world-rated No. 4 by the WBO, No. 5 by the WBC and No. 6 by the IBF. His only blemish was a disputed loss by disqualification in 1999 to current welterweight champion Carlos Baldomir.
Gutierrez, (18-0, 11 KOs), from Colombia, is known for his aggressive, take no prisoners style. Since making his U.S. debut last year, Gutierrez has scored knockout victories of Edson Aguirre and Luis Alberto Santiago, followed by a 10-round decision over Hicklet Lau in April.
I was on hand for Gutierrez's debut against Aguirre. It was a dismal performance against a late sub. Gutierrez gets attention because he’s managed by Roberto Duran. Expect Clottey to make quick work of the Colombian.