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Home Boxing Sadly, The Hits Keep Coming
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Sadly, The Hits Keep Coming

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Sunday morning I competed in a triathlon with my sister Dr. Kasey Carroll, in Sebring Florida. Initially, I was very pleased with my finish and the fact that Kasey had won her age group. After the race we gravitated back to our hotel rooms to shower up and head back to our homes, about 1 ½ hours away. But, something happened shortly before I got in the shower. I glanced over at ESPN News shortly after 11am and along the bottom crawl there was breaking news that former two time WBC welterweight champion Vernon Forrest , 41-3 (29) had been shot in the back and killed by lowlifes that tried to rob him. Shocked, I sat down on the bed to try to see if I had miss-read the crawl and hopefully learn that Vernon had maybe just been hurt in the shooting, or maybe he was not even involved at all. Sadly, I read the crawl again, and Vernon was dead, at age 38, of a gunshot wound suffered when a criminal robbed him of his wallet and killed him. Vernon, who was also armed, had taken chase to the scumbag but had lost sight. As Vernon was returning to his car, the coward opened fire at the back of Vernon, shooting him a total of 7-8 times.
 
I had spoken to Vernon just about two weeks ago, inquiring about an interview I wanted to do with him. Rumor was that he was healed up from his training camp injury and ready to step back into the ring, possibly taking on Sergio Martinez, 41-1-2 (24), in October. Vernon had said that we would talk in the next few weeks, as soon as he was assured the details of the fight. He stated that he was very busy, but would squeeze in time for me in the near future. This conversation came just a month after Vernon left a birthday wish for me on my Facebook page. Although Vernon and I were just Facebook acquaintances, the fact that he actually read that it was my birthday and took the time out of his day to wish me well, was a huge thrill for me!
 
The heart that Forrest showed in the ring was bigger outside of the ropes. More than just an exciting, lightning fast fighter was a man who was dedicated to charity work. Vernon had taken on the cause of the mentally challenged and created Destiny’s Child Incorporated. This is a group home that provides housing and 24 hour care to mentally challenged adults. This charity will now stand as a monument to the heart of a truly good man and a great fighter. The only way I will personally start to feel better after this tragedy is for the scumbags responsible for Forrest’s death to be caught, found guilty and sentenced to death.
 
The death of Vernon Forrest brought forth a very disturbing fact, six fighters have died in the month of July alone, not to include the amount of fighters in 2009. In the last month, fighters who have died are:
 
Alexis Arguello, 57, arguably among the best fighters ever in the lightweight division. Alexia had overcome a serious drug problem and had been elected mayor of Nicaragua’s capital city of Managua in 2008. On July 1st, Arguello was found dead with a gunshot wound to the chest. Originally ruled a suicide, police in Managua are now investigating whether his death may have been a homicide. People close to Arguello have said that he had recently had some doubts about his own political party, may have wanted to leave his party and to stop that from happening, had been murdered.
 
Arturo Gatti, 37, one of the toughest fighters of the 1990's and early 2000's, was strangled to death July 11th, while on vacation with his wife and child. There was also a knife wound to the back of Gatti’s head. Gatti’s wife, Amanda Rodrigues, has been charged with the fighter’s death after blood was found on the broken strap of her purse. Former lightweight champion Acelino Fretias, a good friend of Gatti stated that the couple were having marital problems and Gatti was about to end the marriage. Rodrigues was detained and is saying that she is innocent.
 
Marco Antonio Nazareth lost his life on July 22nd, four days after collapsing in the ring in a TKO loss to Omar Chavez. Chavez, youngest son of boxing legend Julio Cesar Chavez, had stopped Nazareth in the 4th round of a tough fight. After collapsing, Nazareth was taken to a local hospital and underwent three hours of surgery to treat a cerebral hemorrhage. After the surgery, doctors reported that only 10% of Nazareth’s brain was functioning. Omar and Julio Cesar Chavez both went to the stricken fighter’s bedside to pray and comfort his family. Nazareth’s family was present when he died. He was 23 years old.
 
Former Olympic silver medalist Mark Leduc, who won the medal fighting for Canada in 1992, died of heat stroke on July 22nd.  Leduc, 42, was found unconscious in the sauna of a Toronto hotel on July 19th. He passed away a couple of days later. Leduc. Who retired from boxing after the Olympics, announced he was gay at the same press conference he held to make his retirement speech.
 
Heavyweight fighter Francisco Moncivais (1-1, 1 KO) died the night of July 25th, the night after he also suffered a fourth round TKO to Bobby O’Bannon (6-2. 6 KO’s) in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. After the fight, Moncivais was taken to a local hospital right after the fight, stabilized and then transferred to Gulfport Memorial Hospital. Moncivais underwent surgery, but passed away Saturday night. He was 21 years old.
 
Everyone of these guys who died, have families that will need our thoughts and prayers, so I hope you will join me in remembering those left behind in the wake of these tragic losses. In a side note, if anyone reading this article has any information about the lowlife suspect (s) involved in Vernon Forrest’s death, please call the Atlanta Police Department’s Crime Stoppers at (404) 577-TIPS(8477), or online at www.CrimeStoppersAtlanta.org
 
Bob Carrol

www.convictedartist.com

 

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