Mora upsets Forrest to become super welterweight champion

Originally Published: June 7, 2008
Associated Press

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Sergio Mora is "The Contender" no more.

Mora won the WBC super welterweight title Saturday night, outpointing Vernon Forrest at the Mohegan Sun Arena. Mora received winning scores of 115-113 and 116-112 from two of the judges and the third judge had it 114-114.

Mora, from Los Angeles, outworked Forrest in the second half of the fight, using short punches inside and superior movement.

Mora, the winner on the inaugural season of "The Contender" boxing show, is the first world champion to have appeared on the show.

"Thank God! This is dream of mine and I worked very hard and I deserve this," Mora said. "You can't prepare for Vernon and I couldn't relax and I didn't get overconfident."

In the co-feature, Paul Williams avenged his only defeat, regaining the WBO welterweight title with a stunning knockout of Carlos Quintana at 2:15 of the first round.

Forrest (40-3, 29 KOs) came out strong in the early rounds before noticeably tiring in the fifth round. Forrest's energy level dropped and as the rounds went, Forrest stayed on his stool until the last possible moment.

Before the 12th and final round, an exhausted Forrest had to be helped off the stool to begin the round by trainer Buddy McGirt.

Mora (21-0-1, 5 KOs) was the fifth contender alum to take part in a world title fight.

Williams, from Augusta, Ga., stunned Quintana in the opening round with a right hand halfway through the round. The Puerto Rican fighter tried to hold on but a flurry of punches ended with a straight left hand that put Quintana down for the first time. A still shaky Quintana regained his feet but Williams ended the fight a short while later with a left hook that sent Quintana to the floor. Referee Ed Claudio stepped in to stop the fight as Quintana fell to the floor taking Williams to the ground with him.

Williams (34-1, 25 KOs) then got on his knees and threw his arms in the air in celebration after regaining the title he lost nearly four months ago.

"[Quintana] caught me on an off night that last fight," Williams said. "You can't take the belt away from the true champion. It was skill training and sparring that got me here."

The fight was a rematch of the Feb. 9 matchup when Quintana (25-2) handed Williams his first loss with a unanimous decision in Temecula, Calif. This time, Williams never let Quintana get started.

"I got popped cold and he hit me in the back of the neck," Quintana said. "That was what did it. That was overwhelming."

It was the second loss for Quintana, who quit after five rounds against Miguel Cotto in 2006. He was taken to a local hospital for observation.

For Williams, his loss to Quintana in February was just a blip on the screen.

"I am glad to have this back," a smiling Williams said while walking back to the dressing room.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press