The WBC put the kibosh on Vernon Forrest and promoter Gary Shaw's idea to have the WBC junior middleweight titlist face Charles "Killa" Whittaker in the Cayman Islands in April, and has ordered that a purse bid go forward immediately for a fight between Forrest and interim titlist Sergio Martinez.
Forrest (41-3, 29 KO) regained the title from Sergio Mora on September 13, three months after Mora upset "The Viper" to take his belt in Connecticut. Vernon hasn't been in the ring since, and he and Shaw have seemed almost desperate to not fight Martinez (44-1-2, 24 KO), who last week dominated Kermit Cintron but was robbed of a win by the judges and the referee in a combined screwjob.
Their idea to fight Whittaker (33-12-2, 21 KO) is laughable, and the WBC does deserve credit for refusing to sanction that tripe. Whittaker, 35, is a Cayman Islands native and Forrest and Shaw hoped to make bank off of a local draw for the hometown guy getting a shot at a world title. It was a nothing fight for Forrest on paper, as Whittaker's resume stinks. He is massively unqualified, especially when the mandatory has more than earned his shot. Showtime ("Shawtime") was going to televise, which would've likely been a waste of their money.
38-year old Forrest has talked about wanting to fight "the big names," but there really aren't any at 154 pounds. I've had the passing idea that he could face Kelly Pavlik at middleweight (as a fellow WBC titleholder, he could get the shot), but other than that, what is there? There was water cooler talk of him possibly fighting Winky Wright, but nothing came of it. At 154 you've got Forrest and Paul Williams at the top of the divison, and something tells me Vernon isn't going to fight at a hyper-busy young guy with heavyweight reach. The other vets in the division (Spinks, Phillips, Santos, etc.) bring nothing to the table financially, and the young guys (Williams, Angulo, Kirkland, etc.) also bring nothing to the table financially, and probably have too much for Vernon at this stage.
Forrest's options are limited. I'm sure that Martinez, a crafty southpaw in his prime, isn't his first choice. It might be his only choice if he wants to keep calling himself a "champion," though.