Vernon Forrest, a former three-time champion and the first boxer to defeat “Sugar” Shane Mosley, was shot to death during an apparent robbery in Atlanta. Read more on Vernon Forrest below.
Sgt. Lisa Keyes stated that Vernon Forrest, 38, was shot several times in the back Saturday night. Keyes says there are currently no suspects.
“Vernon was one of the few decent people in boxing,” promoter Gary Shaw said. “I mean really decent. He cared about mentally challenged adults. He cared about kids. I just can’t believe it.”
Fulton County medical examiner Michele Stauffenberg confirmed the case was a homicide and his autopsy showed Forrest died from “multiple gunshot wounds involving the torso and thigh.”
Vernon Forrest of Georgia was a member of the 1992 Olympic team. He also was a former IBF welterweight and two-time WBC junior middleweight champion with a 41-3 career record with 29 knockouts.
“He was one of the most gracious and charitable fighters in boxing and he will be missed by the entire boxing community and all of his friends at HBO,” HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg told The Associated Press.
“Maybe Vernon’s lasting legacy will be for Americans everywhere to rise up and end this kind of senseless violence,” Greenburg said.
Pals of Forrest’s praised his role in launching the Destiny’s Child group homes in Atlanta, which work to provide homes for the mentally disabled.
“It was truly his calling,” Forrest’s publicist, Kelly Swanson, said of his work with children. “When he wasn’t boxing, this was his full-time job.
“When they would see him, they would just light up, and some of them couldn’t even talk. Vernon was very much involved. He’d have some of the kids over to his house on Sundays. They were part of his family.”
Swanson said Forrest is not married but has one son, Vernon Jr.
Forrest’s trainer, Buddy McGirt, also worked with Gatti. McGirt said Forrest planned to start training Aug. 1 for his next fight.
“I just feel so bad. He has a son you know,” McGirt said. “Someone is going to be raised without a father because somebody wanted to rob someone.”
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