QUARTEY - FORREST: An Interesting Crossroads Match Up
06.07.06 - By Jim Amato: It is scheduled for August 5th at New York's Madison Square Garden. A match between two former welterweight champions trying to regain their past glory at 154 pounds. Ike Quartey will meet Vernon Forrest in a pivotal bout. The winner could put himself in line for a title shot. The loser may want to consider retirement..
Quartey won the WBA welterweight title in 1994 stopping Crisanto Espana. He had a successful run as champion. Finally in 1997 he was held to a draw by the rugged Jose Luis Lopez. In 1999 he challenged Oscar De La Hoya for the WBC title and lost a split decision in a great fight. In 2000 he moved up in an attempt to win the IBF junior middleweight title but was defeated by a prime Fernando Vargas. Ike laid off for almost five years but since returning he has won three straight including a decision over tough Verno Phillips.
Vernon Forrest beat Raul Frank in 2001 to capture the IBF welterweight title. In 2002 he shocked the world by winning a decisive decision over Shane Mosley and capturing the WBC welterweight title. Six months later he repeated his win over Mosley to retain his crown.
In 2003 Vernon suffered a shocking third round KO loss to WBA titleholder Ricardo Mayorga. Six months later Mayorga would decision Vernon to retain his titles. Forrest took two years off but since returning he has scored two knockout victories.
Who will win this fight ? Tough call because both are very talented fighters. Quartey has fought better opposition before and after his layoff. In his defense Forrest holds two solid wins over Sugar Shane Mosley who is still a factor in the title picture. Still that was a long time ago.
Who had more left ? Based on what we've seen in their return to ring wars, Quartey has been more impressive. Ike appears to be the stronger of the two and the more aggressive. They both have good jabs but I look for Ike to force the action. If he can force Forrest to give ground, he should win the fight. If Vernon can establish his jab and find the range with his lethal right hand...Well we might have a very interesting fight indeed.
Taking all things into consideration, I'll have to say that I like Ike.