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Four fights, 17 rounds: Mora unseats Forrest, blowouts rule the night

Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.
SCOTT'S BAD LEFT HOOK UNOFFICIAL SCORECARD
 Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Total
 Kelly Pavlik 10 10 TKO                   20
 Gary Lockett 9 7                     16
 Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Total
 Daniel Ponce de Leon              
 Juan Manuel Lopez TKO            
 Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Total
 Carlos Quintana                  
 Paul Williams TKO                      

Capt Blowouts are so in right now.

But the biggest news of the night (well, sort of) came in the only fight that went the distance, or even went past the third round. In Uncasville, Conn., Sergio Mora scored a majority decision upset over Vernon Forrest to win the WBC junior middleweight title, which he's said this week he plans to vacate immediately to move back to 160 pounds.

First of all, that's a terrible idea. I watched the first eight rounds and the 12th round, and while Mora was still nothing exciting or captivating, he was definitely a more effective, sharper fighter at 154 than he has been at 160. His lack of punching power is one thing, but his digging body shots seemed to wear Forrest down. When I left the fight, I had Vernon up 77-75, but he had lost much of the momentum he built in the first four or five rounds.

Talking to others that stuck around to watch the rest of Forrest-Mora, it sounds as though Mora simply outlasted Vernon and outfought him down the stretch. That was certainly what looked like might happen.

I am not going to suddenly tell you I'm a Sergio Mora fan. I think fighting for a title you plan to simply give away is another sort of faux pas in what is becoming a long line of obnoxious B.S. that comes from him. But I couldn't help but kind of feel good for Mora, who was verbally abused to an obscene degree by Forrest in the build-up to the fight.

So much for taking Mora out on a stretcher. So much for a boring, wide unanimous decision. Mora's style gave Vernon fits, as the 37-year old Forrest looked slow even at the points he was winning. That's the difference that a 28-year old Mora makes as opposed to Carlos Baldomir or Michele Piccirillo. Those guys stood and Forrest could work. Mora's herky-jerky, goofy style of movement, both offensively and defensively, shut Vernon down.

Whether he'd be among my first thousand favorite fighters or not, congratulations to Sergio Mora. He shut Vernon Forrest's mouth tonight.

On the undercard in Uncasville, Carlos Quintana looked great again against Paul Williams...for about a minute. Then Williams caught him with some long left hands and absolutely obliterated the WBO welterweight titleholder. After two minutes and 15 seconds highlighted by Quintana's head rocking around and two trips to the canvas, the strap returned to the waist of "The Punisher." Williams hasn't looked that vicious in a long time, and Quintana just didn't stand a chance from the moment he was first rocked. Great performance by Williams, and right back to the drawing board for the 31-year old Quintana. He's in a difficult career position; too slick, too smart, and too good to get good fights, probably. He's good enough to win big fights (Williams, Julio), but also is vulnerable to being blown out (Williams, Cotto). I like him a lot, but this was a real shot in the groin to his career.

The HBO opener in Atlantic City, N.J., saw Daniel Ponce de Leon look great...for about a minute. Then Juan Manuel Lopez started landing short, precise left hooks, and it was all over for the double tough Ponce de Leon, who suffered his second career loss and first career knockout at 2:15 of the opening round, making Lopez the new WBO super bantamweight titleholder.

Ponce de Leon, like Quintana, was floored twice, and it was clear after the first time that it was all over for him. The super bantamweights at the top of the division -- including Israel Vazquez -- better watch out for Juanma. This kid is explosive, finishes well, has good technique, and just did what no one else ever has. Daniel's a tough, tough fighter. He took shots from Celestino Caballero for 12 full rounds, and we're talking big bombs. Lopez finished him off in a little over two minutes.

The HBO main event went about exactly as planned. Gary Lockett did the very best he could, but was ultimately demolished in emphatic fashion by middleweight king Kelly Pavlik. He had a solid first round, but in the second he was forced to take a knee on two occasions, and after doing so again in the third, with blood coming from his nose and some rising swelling on his face, trainer Enzo Calzaghe threw in the towel, needing to see nothing more. Lockett simply was not in a league that resembled Pavlik's. It was a world class champion wailing on a club fighter, just as advertised.

We'll have more on the fights tomorrow in a 10 Points of Interest article. We'll also examine what could be next for the winners, and even a couple of the losers. It was an entertaining night at the fights.

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