Six boxers who were able to remain active in the ring during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic are no longer afforded that luxury, at least for the time being.
Fringe heavyweight contender Jerry Forrest was the most identifiable boxer among those further disciplined by the NSAC during the commission’s monthly agenda hearing held Thursday via remote location. The 32-year old from Newport News, Virginia is one of three boxers who saw their current temporary suspensions extended, while three more were forced to literally pay for their sins after previously testing positive for banned substances surrounding fights which took place earlier this summer in Las Vegas.
Forrest is now suspended through October 7, after having tested positive for cannabidiol following a 10-round loss to Carlos Takam on July 9 in Las Vegas. The detection of the banned substance came from a July 3 testing sample, though not discovered until after the fight.
The irony in Forrest (26-4, 20KOs) landing on this list is the manner in which he was assigned to appear on ESPN. The southpaw was originally due to face disgraced former heavyweight contender Jarrell Miller, who was bounced from the July 9 show after testing positive for GW501516—also known as cardarine and endurobol—which was discovered in late June. Miller was issued a temporary suspension by the NSAC during its August hearing, although his case was not up for review during Thursday’s hearing.
Forrest went on to face Cameroon’s Takam, dropping a competitive but clear decision in suffering a second loss within last three starts. A ten-round split decision to unbeaten Jermaine Franklin last July was met with far greater debate than was the case in his most recent outing. Unfortunately, Forrest will now have to sit on this loss longer than he would like given the punishment handed down on Thursday.
The July 9 show which Forrest topped has devolved into a drug haven with the card having produced four positive drug tests both pre-fight and post-fight. Among those whose case has been extended for another calendar month is that of Joshafat Ortiz.
Ortiz (8-0, 4KOs) came up dirty surrounding his July 9 win over previously unbeaten Joshua Orta. Testing samples from the gloriously-bearded 24-year old from Reading, Pennsylvania produced findings of the anabolic steroid methylclostebol. The infraction will keep Ortiz on the sidelines at least through the next commission hearing on October 7, at which time a final ruling is expected including the possibility of his win being changed to a No-Contest.
The other offending party from the show is Riverside, California’s Donte Stubbs (6-1, 2KOs; 1NC), who was dealt a nine-month suspension and $1,800 fine after testing positive for the banned substance methyltestosterone. Stubbs’ win over Fred Wilson Jr. on that card is now changed to a No-Contest.
Stubbs is now forced to serve a retroactive nine-month suspension through March 30, 2021, along with an $1800 fine and proof of fitness for combat to be determined through random drug testing.
In addition, the aforementioned win over Stubbs is officially changed to a No-Contest, as unanimously voted by the five-person panel on Thursday.
Juan Antonio Torres joins Forrest and Danny Murray among those who are forced to deal with suspensions on top of in-ring defeats.
The June 16 edition of Top Rank Boxing on ESPN saw Torres (5-3-1, 2KOs) drop a six-round decision to Hector Perez in their heavyweight preliminary bout. The 33-year old southpaw from Cypress, Texas tested positive for accelerated levels of testosterone. His case remains under further review, as the commission elected to extend his current temporary suspension until October 7.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox