Vernon Forrest Interview Transcript
Gary Shaw: First, I just want to thank David Itskowich and Oscar and (Richard) at Golden Boy for allowing this fight to take place on their pay per view card and we are excited and we thank Jeff Wald and Sergio Mora for honoring their rematch and thank the WBC for sanctioning the rematch. The first fight is what it was and the second fight will be what it is. And there will be no excuses. Vernon has fought the best as everybody knows. He's been in there with Mayorga. He's been in there with (Quartey). He's been in there with Mosley. Sergio won the fight. There's no question that Sergio won the fight. He was the hungrier fighter on that night..
Article posted on 30.08.2008
So on September 13th at the MGM, I think you'll see a different Vernon Forrest. I know that I don't have to tell you, Sergio Mora believes he'll see a different Vernon Forrest. But, you know, again I think there'll be a different type of fight then you say in the first fight.
Everybody learns from their first fight, that's why rematches normally, other then Marques and Vasquez are not too much like the first fight because of that learning experience. So again, to Golden Boy, thank you, to Jeff Wald, thank you and Vernon Forrest doesn't need me to talk about Vernon. He's very well equipped and he's a great world champion in and out of the ring.
Vernon Forrest: Oh, I would like to just echo what Gary Shaw just said. I'd just like to thank Golden Boy for, putting us on his card, his great card in September, and also, Sergio and his camp for, honoring the rematch clause and I'm looking forward to this fight and looking forward to getting my (temperature) back.
Jerry Glick,Secondsout.com. First I want to ask you, how is that charity work you're doing with the kids? Are the kids going to be there?
Vernon Forrest: No I'm not a part of it anymore.
Vernon Forrest: II felt bad for a minute. After my injury this - my surgery and all that, I kind of just really wanted to rededicate myself to (box court). What made me was what I am in the ring and I just wanted to give it my all because I had reservations about ever being able to compete at the level that I need to be in and so I just kind of rededicated myself to, my passion, my love, which was boxing. So I kind of stepped back from it.
Jerry Glick: Well it was great work that you did. Are you - assuming you win this fight, would you be interested in the Mosley Mayorga winner?
Vernon Forrest: Absolutely. I think a bigger fight will be that with De La Hoya but definitely - I'd definitely be interested in that fight though.
Jerry Glick: And what changes do you expect for him to make in this fight - Mora? Do you expect anything different from him?
Vernon Forrest: Well I mean, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. So I'm assuming that - I'm sure he's going to be much more aggressive because of the event, being Mexican Independence weekend and all that stuff. But, I'm expecting him to be very aggressive and I'm looking forward to that. But, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. So me personally, if I was him I wouldn't change a thing.
Jerry Glick: And you compare yourself - well, he's 27. You're 37. If you were 27 today, how do you compare yourself, 37 against 27, Vernon Forrest?
Vernon Forrest: At 27, I was 30, 35 and zero 27 knockouts so I was one of the top. So I think I was one of the most feared guys on the planet at that time. So, I was a bad (part) back then.
Robert Morales, Los Angeles Daily News. I want to ask you about before the first fight, and I ask you this question with all due respect. There was a lot of trash talking, more from you than Sergio. I know you were very confident you were going to knock him out. Quite frankly, I did too. Were you a little - were you humbled just a little bit by the defeat and did you maybe at the same time gain some respect for Sergio?
Vernon Forrest: First of all, not only was I a competitor on the card. I was also a promoter on the card. And so, we were going up against Kelly Pavlik and his fight on HBO on the same night. And so, we needed to draw interest to the fight. And so, as a promoter then you've got to promote the fight.
And, I can sit here and say a pleasant things about Sergio and he can say a lot of pleasant things about me, but does that make people want to be interested in watching the fight? And so to, what makes a good fight is somebody - you've got to have a, the good guy and you've got to have the bad guy. And I decided to play the bad guy role to promote the fight.
But, as far as being humble, I'm a very confident person. I'm always confident. So, a loss is not necessarily humbling. What's humbling is not being able to compete at your highest level when you are competing. Now I get another chance . . . And as for the first fight I'm to take a "Mulligan" and we will see how the next one turns out. That's right-a "Mulligan" on that one and I'm going to straighten it out and get everything right the second fight.
So I'm going to take a (Mulligan) on that - on the first fight and then we'll get - I'm going to straighten it out and get everything right the second fight.
Robert Morales: Hey Vernon, let me just congratulate you on being the first boxer I've ever heard use that golf term. Thanks man. Good luck.
Chris Cozzoni, fightnews.com. You know, it took a long time for you to get back to the top, be world champion again. Almost four years, due to injuries. But what did the lost to Mora do to your momentum at this point?
Vernon Forrest: You know what, it fortunately didn't derail me that much because we got a pay-per-view coming along and then, once I get this fight out of the way, then we move on to bigger and better things. But it really didn't do anything. The only thing it did was really got my competitive juices going again.
I had two great wins prior to that and, you've got to stay motivated. You've got to stay hungry and you've got to stay on course of what got you there, and for me just really just doing what I do best.
And once I - when I do what I do best, I have farther - I'm the best in the world when I'm on top of my game.
Chris Cozzoni: Can you talk to me a little bit about what went wrong in the fight with Mora, the first fight?
Vernon Forrest: I was just flat. It was one of those days, going in to it, I was just flat man. When you're flat, you see the part this - you see the moves, just two or three seconds, it's like a delay in pulling the trigger. I was just flat. I couldn't get bounce. I couldn't get a rhythm. He did his thing and he wanted to fight. Right now I'm working on going back and, analyzing everything and trying to see what went wrong and how can you fix certain things.
And I'm working on my whole game plan, and I guarantee you come September 13th, everything, all the kinks will be corrected and, , I'll get it in there and I'll get the win so I can get my championship back.
William Trillo of Pound4Pound.com. Vernon, over the month, even up until now after the first fight, there's been everything said from you over trained, you under trained, you underestimated Sergio. What's the truth? What happened that night?
Vernon Forrest: Like I said, I was flat, and when you look at - if you look at the fight, it wasn't that typical Vernon Forrest kind of performance. And I'm here and telling you right now I was flat.
What did it attribute to? I was in camp since February. The fight was in June. And so, going to the gym the last - I guess the last month - I was going to the gym versus going to the gym and you're working on things. So I was just going to the gym just to get it out of the way.
This time around, it's a little bit different. We've got a better, schedule of preparation and we can peak at the right time. And so I guarantee you you'll see a much, much better performance out of Vernon Forrest. You will see a classic Vernon Forest kind of performance.
William Trillo: Okay. I know you guys wanted an immediate rematch. Obviously you got it. I mean, this is a quick turnaround. Was there ever a point where Sergio or any of his people asked you to maybe take step aside pay, et cetera, so he could do other things?
Gary Shaw: No, no.
Vernon Forrest: No, that never happened, and I would never accept money. This fight isn't about money. This fight is about pride. Money comes with the territory so, this fight is about pride.
Gary Shaw: I just want to comment on that from our point of view. We always knew that this was not about money for Vernon. We owed him this rematch because he was a gentleman and gave Sergio the opportunity to do this to begin with. So this was never about any of that. This is about honoring a clause in the contract that we signed willingly.
TK Stewart of Boxingscene.com. One of the things that you had just mentioned is that you would definitely be interested in the winner of the Mosley Mayorga fight. And I was wondering, were - you fought both guys twice. How do you see that fight playing out and who do you think is going to win?
Vernon Forrest: Really that fight is none of my business. I got more pressing things to worry about and that's Sergio Mora. So, you know, I'm not really concerned about that fight. I could care less who wins. As long as I win my fight I'll be waiting on the winner.
TK Stewart: Okay. Well, in the first fight you mentioned you were a bit flat. You might've been over trained and what not. Going into this one, how are you feeling right now? How is your weight? Do you have any nagging injuries? Any aches? Any pains? Or is everything all good?
Vernon Forrest: If I did, I wouldn't tell you anyway. But everything is going well. Everything's going well.
Man: Vernon the promoter.
Man: That was a good answer.
Eddie Goldman, Seconds Out Radio. In the first fight, as you said, you felt that you were flat. What do you think was the key reason for that and did that have anything to do with the fact that you were viewed as such a major favorite in the fight?
Vernon Forrest: I'm viewed as a favorite in this fight. I'm always the favorite. So, things happen. You wake up you eat your Wheaties and you think everything's going to be a good day and sometimes you have a bad day.
I have a bad day (often) as I'm sure, on your job and what you do, I'm sure you have writer's block at one time or another where you just couldn't get it out. Whatever you wanted to do, you just couldn't pull it out.
That's what happened to me. You know, first time ever in my career, I just couldn't pull the trigger, you know. People tried to attribute it to age and all that, but it didn't have anything to do with that. You look at the two prior fights before that. I had no problem with (Baldomir) and didn't have any problem with (Piccirillo). It just is one of those things.
But, like I say, We can go on and on and you can ask me the same questions 50 different times and I'll give you the same answer. I was just flat.
Eddie Goldman: How do you expect to fight differently and how do you think this fight will be - do you think it's going to be a much more aggressive style fight then the first one was?
Vernon Forrest: I think this fight will be more of a fan pleasing fight because, Sergio got the confidence of a champion and I also have the confidence of a champion. And any time you're a champion, you're going to fight better. Being a champion will take you to the next level.
And I've been there. I've been there four times already. And if you count amateur, five times. So, I'm going to bring my A game. I promise you I'm going to bring my A game and I'm going to get my championship back.
Eddie Goldman: I know after the (Piccirillo) fight, you felt that you were pretty much at the same level you were at your peak a few years ago when you fought Mosley.
Vernon Forrest: Right.
Eddie Goldman: How do you feel you are now in terms of that? Do you think you're still at that level?
Vernon Forrest: Well, we'll see come September 13th. What I'm doing is mixing --I'm going back to the drawing board. I'm mixing all the little ingredients that I had to win, multiple championships. I'm going to mix all that up and I'm going to bring that out on the 13th. Then when you ask me that question again after the fight, I can give you a more definitive answer.
Kelly Swanson: Vernon, I just want to ask you one question myself. I saw in the camp notes that you are now training in Atlanta back in your home town. And, has there been a big difference in camp and what is that like to stay home versus going to camp for this fight, and why did you think you had to do it?
Vernon Forrest: I was bored shitless.
Man: Did you say shitless?
Vernon Forrest: I was bored in Florida. I was bored shitless in Florida. Yes, I was bored shitless in Florida. I was bored out of my mind, going to the gym everyday became a chore as opposed to, something that I looked forward to. And being at home, able to eat my own food, sleep in my own bed, to me - it's like a change. I never trained at home before. I always go to training camp, and so for me, being home is like a training camp for me.
So you get a chance to - get a chance to be at home and be comfortable, that's been very, pleasing. And I think it helped me a lot because, in Atlanta, I'm not bored. I still do nothing like I do in training camp but just doing nothing at home is better than being - doing nothing, in Florida.
Gary Shaw: Plus Vernon's a nice guy. (Buddy) refused to take Vernon to South Beach but at least Vernon drives (Buddy) around now.
Vernon Forrest: Vero is a good place to train, but after awhile, you can only take so much of (Vero) and for the last 16 months I've been spending a lot of time in (Vero). And so, to just, be at home and wake up I got (system) here in Atlanta (that's comparable) to my system in Florida so everything's working out pretty good.
Mora-Forrest II is the 12-round co-featured bout to the highly anticipated Joel Casamayor vs. Juan Manuel Marquez showdown. The fight is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Tournament of Contenders, Gary Shaw Productions and Fight Knight, LLC. Casamayor vs. Marquez – "The Challenge", a 12-round bout for Casamayor's Ring Magazine World Lightweight Championship, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Romanza Boxing and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, Cazadores Tequila and Southwest Airlines. The world title bout will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
previous article: Tough Guys Fight Tough Guys and Ezzard Charles Was Tough
next article: Sergio Mora Interview Transcript