Forrest earns WBC light-middleweight title against Baldomir

Jul 29, 2007 - 5:52 AM TACOMA, Washington (Ticker) -- Vernon Forrest can again call himself champion.

Forrest won the vacant WBC light-middleweight title in a unanimous decision over Argentinian Carlos Baldomir at the Emerald Queen Casino on Saturday.

Forrest (39-2, 28 KOs), who has won four straight bouts, completely dominated fellow 36-year-old Baldomir (43-11-6), who indicated afterwards that this was probably his last fight.

"I brought my 'A' game tonight," Forrest said. "He came to fight too, but he just lost to a greater fighter tonight."

The native of Augusta, Georgia out-pointed the 36-year-old Baldomir, 118-109 on two judges score cards while gaining a 116-112 advantage on the third.

Forrest, who may best remembered for his outstanding back-to-back victories over Sugar Shane Mosley in 2002, is now 5-2 in world championship bouts. He was the WBC welterweight champion before losing back-to-back bouts to Carlos Mayorga in 2003.

Injuries, including shoulder surgery after the fights with Mayorga, kept Forrest out of the ring for two years before he posted a second-round knockout of Sergio Rios on July 16, 2005.

"I don't know if I'm back, but I'm back on top," Forrest said.

His four straight wins include two TKOs and a hotly debated split-decision over Ike Quartey on August 5, 2006, his last bout before this one.

Asked after the match if he wanted to fight again, Forrest said he wasn't ready end his career.

"I probably have 4-6 fights left in me," Forrest added.

Baldomir has now lost two consecutive one-sided matches. A winner of the WBC welterweight title by stunning Zab Judah a little over 19 months ago, Baldomir has now suffered two straight beatings, including a unanimous decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. on November 4. He dropped to 10-3-1 in world championship bouts.

A member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team, Forrest seemed to be the quicker, sharper puncher through the first several rounds before hitting Baldomir with several blistering shots in the fourth round. The fighters also banged heads in the fourth, which caused the bout to be temporarily interrupted as both participants cleared their heads.

For the rest of the match, Forrest used a variety of punches, including jabs, crosses and uppercuts to keep the fight in his favor.

"Baldomir pushed me to the limit," Forrest said. "I'm just glad for the victory."

The 15-year veteran may have lost his only round after delivering a low blow to Baldomir with 1:21 left in the ninth. Referee Mike Ortega deducted one point away from Forrest for the violation before the match resumed.

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