It can be said that one mans’ misfortune is another’ opportunity. That is exactly what happened with Steve Forbes – times two. Back on April 12 Steve had a fight scheduled with Emanuel Augustus, but when Augustus did not pass the physical the fight was scrapped. Disappointed but not discouraged, Forbes kept training. That was the beginning of the snowball.
“I stayed in the gym,” he told me. “I went back to the gym the next day. I was supposed to start sparring a week later. Golden Boy had been seeing me in the gym and I’d done some stuff with Linares and Senchenko in the past. They said they were sorry about my fight being cancelled, and asked if I wanted to go out to Las Vegas and spar with “Canelo”. I said that I would. I was already in shape.”
Steve flew out to Vegas and began his sparring with Alvarez. They’re reports were that he was looking good in the sparring, and that Saul was glad to have him in the ring with him.
“I ended up going to a meeting at Mayweather’s gym, and to stop by and say hi. It was kind of funny. Normally in there everybody’s cheerful. This was a little different. I saw Jessie Vargas’ trainer kind of looking at me. Then my phone rings, and it’s Eric Gomez (matchmaker) from Golden Boy.
“Hey, Alfonso Gomez dropped out,” he told me. “Do you want to fight? I know you’ve been training and we’ve heard how you’ve been looking in camp.” (Gomez was slated to face Vargas on the Mayweather / Cotto undercard but had to bow out because of back spasms.)
Forbes took five minutes to call his advisor, and then jumped at the fight.
“There we had it, the fight was made. I’m in excellent shape. This is probably the first time in the history of me ever training that I’m already on weight – right now! This has never happened to me as a professional, ever. I knew something would pay off if I just kept working.”
An excited Forbes went on to explain that he felt a couple of things contributed to this opportunity: “Me coming out West, and being in the right place at the right time,” he said.
When asked his impression of Vargas, Steve said, “He’s a pretty good young kid. He doesn’t have the experience I do, but he’s good and he’s determined – undefeated. I put him in the category as when I fought Demetrius Hopkins and Francisco Bojado. I don’t think he’s as gifted as Bojado was. Bojado was an exceptionally gifted kid, and I just caught him at the right place at the right time and capitalized on my experience.
“I look at this as similar. He’s a guy who’s strong, a pretty good boxer. I have a lot of experience. I’m in way better shape than I’ve been in the last few years, so it’s interesting. A young upstart against a cagey, veteran fighter.
“This is a great opportunity for me – being on a big stage; you know, this is gonna be the most-watched boxing event of the year, because Floyd Mayweather’s the main event. There’s no better way to get an opportunity than something like this. People say that I took this fight at the last minute, but I’ve never been more prepared for a fight, last minute or not.
“I was in the perfect spot at the right time, because I was training already. Even the days we didn’t spar I still came to the gym and trained as if I had a fight, because I had a feeling something would happen.”
Since Forbes had been sparring with “Canelo”, I wanted to know what he thought of Golden Boy’s ‘Golden Boy’.
Trainer Shadeed Suluki has now joined Forbes in Vegas to put the finishing touches on their