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Jerry Forrest: When Heart Counts

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  • Jerry Forrest: When Heart Counts

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    By Ted Sares

    While many Canelo fights end up in some fan’s memory bank, that probably won’t be the case given what occurred this past Saturday night in Miami. However, the show was salvaged by the entertaining heavyweight draw between China’s Zhilei ‘Big Bang” Zhang (22-0-1) and Jerry “Slugger” Forrest (26-4-1) on the undercard. This one had the fans up and roaring but for different reasons.

    The 6’6” Zhang (with excellent amateur credentials) floored the American once in each of the first three rounds and the crowd sensed a stunning KO was on the way. But lo and behold, it didn’t come.

    Then things began to change, subtle at first, as a determined Forrest survived the onslaught and began to fight back working well inside and landing shots both upstairs and to the body.

    A Shift in Momentum

    The momentum clearly changed in the fifth as Zhang used his body to lean on “Slugger” to tire him out, but in the process he didn’t mix and thereby lost rounds. Soon this strategy (albeit illegal) backfired and served to tire “Big Bang” more than Forrest and making matters worse for Zhang, he was deducted a point in the ninth by referee Frank Gentile for holding. (Given that he had been holding since the fifth round, the deduction was spot-on and could well have come earlier.)

    Going into the last round, the fight seemed to be up for grabs and the fresher Forrest obliged as he landed crunching shots that had the fickle fans (are there any others?) now in is corner. He was actually chasing the gassed Chinese monster at the end and had the fight gone another minute, “Slugger” likely would have lived up to his moniker.

    “For Jerry Forrest, this is a momentous result after a terrible start, and keeps him in the mix as a high-level gatekeeper, someone who will take on basically anyone and give it the effort. He’s a danger to prospects and mid-tier veterans alike,” wrote prominent boxing writer Scott Christ.

    The scores were 95-93 Forrest and 93-93 twice for a majority draw. Zhang was lucky to keep his undefeated record intact.

    Jerry Forrest showed a tremendous amount of heart. Hopefully, when folks look back at this card, Canelo’s blowout of Avni Yildirim won’t completely overshadow this entertaining heavyweight match.

    (Note: Zhang was taken to a hospital for observation when his handlers noticed some concerning symptoms in the locker room after the fight. According to a published statement from Terry Lane of Lane Brothers Management, Zhang was found to be “suffering from anemia, high enzyme levels, and low-level renal failure, which may have been caused by severe dehydration. The good news is that all of his neurological signs are clear…Credit and respect to a game Jerry Forrest who battled back for a ten-round draw…Zhilei will be back.”)

    Photo credit: Ed Mulholland / Matchroom

    Ted Sares can be reached at tedsares@roadrunner.com

    Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel

  • #2
    That is the good news! 😉

    Comment


    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      "Another gem, Ted. Good job. " Robert Mladinich

    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      "Nice fight with a lot of heart. The heart that Sonny Liston lacked against Cassius Clay." Bill Smith

  • #3
    The Big Bang was a Big Dud. He lost the fight more than Forrest won it.

    Comment


    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes. He never went "boom."

    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      "I watched the video and what a fight! A draw!?! Thanks Ted!," Socorro Hernandez

    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      "[Theater of the unexpected." Jim Lampley

  • #4
    'I'd like to comment on the fight but I didn't watch it, Ted. I didn't watch the main event either" Johnny Tango

    Too bad. These are my very favorite kinds of fights. Feliciano did it to D-Rod, Weaver did it to Tate, McBride did it to Tyson, and there have been other great examples.

    Shavers did it to Roy Williams after Williams did it to Shavers.
    Last edited by Kid Blast; 03-05-2021, 07:57 PM.

    Comment


    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      "Michael Culbert
      Great article & great fight"

    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      "Ted
      Good Stuff
      Thanx
      Joe Pasquale"

  • #5
    I am so glad that other people noticed this fight and actually saw it for what it was. So much noise in the other direction manufactured built up stuff but this was a fight. What a lot of people still recall as being what we came to expect everytime we showed up or sat in front of our TV sets for many years. Thanks for shinning a light on it.

    Comment


    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for commenting..........

  • #6
    Ask the wife, I was rootin for Jerry like a little kid!

    Comment


    • Kid Blast
      Kid Blast commented
      Editing a comment
      It's always so much easier to write about a fight that I as a writer enjoyed

  • #7
    "Well written Ted - you captured it
    Best
    Lee Samuels"

    Charlie Dwyer (RI), Bob Webb (France), and Harvey Dock (NYC) also liked it and that made me feel great. I just wish it was easier to sign in on TSS.

    Comment

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