The boxing world is mourning another loss of a great boxer, this time Vernon ‘The Viper’ Roach.
The former IBF welterweight and WBC light-middleweight world champion has been shot dead during an attempted robbery in America.
Forrest was shot several times after apparently confronting thieves at a gas station in Atlanta, Georgia.
His death comes soon after the passing of Arturo Gatti and Alexis Arguello in recent weeks.
Forrest, 38, was a member of the 1992 US Olympic team. He gained stardom in 2002 when he became the first man to defeat ‘Sugar’ Shane Moseley.
He had a professional record of 41 wins, three losses and 29 knockouts.
Police reports indicate that Forrest may have been shot after chasing one of the thieves who tried to rob him as he was putting air into the tyres of his Jaguar.
The 11-year-old son of Forrest’s girlfriend was with him at the Chevron station at the time and was able to give police a description of the attackers.
Forrest captured the IBF welterweight title in 2001 when he beat Raul Frank in a unanimous points decision before defeating Moseley twice in 2002.
Forrest lost that title to Ricardo Mayorga a year later but went on to become the WBC light-middleweight champion in 2007 before his final defeat to Sergio Mora in 2008.
His last fight was a unanimous points victory over Mora in September 2008 when he recaptured his WBC title.
Forrest had a nice, pleasant nature and his fame transcended boxing mainly because he funded Destiny’s Child, a home for disabled teenagers.
Cayman’s Charles ‘The Killa’ Whittaker is crushed by Forrest’s killing. They were good friends and at the start of this year Whittaker negotiated a fight with Forrest when he was still world champion but the Cayman government could not find the funds to underwrite the cost of the promotion here.
Killa is in the Philippines where he will be fighting on Friday. He said from his base in Digos: ‘I was devastated when I got the text of Vernon’s death from my manager Raul.
‘I’d known him personally for years. When he won his first world title in 2001 I fought on the same bill and was the first one to congratulate him. We held the belt together. We always said that we threw our right hands in the same fashion.
‘The last time I saw Vernon was at the Mayweather-De La Hoya fight in Vegas in 2007 and he was his usual friendly, lovely self.
‘He was a genuine good guy. This is a great tragedy and a tragic waste of a good life. I’m going to dedicate my next fight in his memory.’