Vernon Forrest, known as "The Viper", (February 12, 1971 – July 25, 2009) was an American professional boxer who became a world champion in the welterweight and light middleweight divisions and noted for his two fights with Shane Mosley.
Forrest began boxing at the age of 9. After achieving an impressive 225-16 record as an amateur, he became the 1992 US junior welterweight champion, and won the 1991 World Amateur Boxing Championships national title. Forrest was the first in his family to graduate from high school receiving his diploma from Marquette Senior High School in Marquette, MI. Staying in Marquette, Forrest was on scholarship to Northern Michigan University where he majored in business administration through the U.S. Olympic Education Center. Forrest continued to train with the US National Team under head coach Al Mitchell.
He was a member of the 1992 US Olympic Team during the Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. He earned his Olympic position by beating Shane Mosley in the trials. After that fight, Forrest was the gold medal favorite heading in to the tournament, he would then have to fight Cuban fighter Hector Vinent, a gold medalist, before reaching that goal. However, he was stricken with food poisoning a day before his first round bout and was beaten by Peter Richardson. He returned home to Augusta, then moved to Las Vegas, and made his professional debut on November 25, 1992.