Steve "2 Pound" Forbes is a former world titleholder. Unlike many other former champions, Steve lost his title not in the ring but on the scales. He has fared well against other world champions, which helped to make him one of the favorites in Season 2 of "The Contender."
The legend of "2 Pound" began with his birth in Portland, Oregon, where he was raised along with one brother and one sister. Steve was born weighing just over two pounds, hence the nickname. He got his inspiration to box when,… Show more at the age of 10, he saw a Ring magazine with Evander Holyfield on the cover as the Fighter of the Year. His forays to the local community center, which had a boxing program, began soon after. Steve proved to be a quick study. He was 67-10 as an amateur and was a five-time Washington and Oregon Golden Gloves champion.
When he turned pro, Steve moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he believed he would get exposure and face solid fighters. In his professional debut, he won a four-round unanimous decision over Octavio Suarez (1-0). Steve continued to fight well and ran his record to 14-0 before securing his first shot at a world title.
That fight was for the International Boxing Association's 130-pound championship. On March 11, 2000 in Indio, California, he went up against Alejandro Gonzalez (41-4), who was a former WBC featherweight champion. It was a good match, and the scorecards indicated that it was close. However, the decision went to Gonzalez.
Although disappointed, Steve was not to be deterred. He went on to secure another shot at a world title later that year after winning the United States Boxing Association's junior lightweight title over David Santos (37-3). This time the fight, held in December, was against John "The Eastern Beast" Brown for the vacant International Boxing Federation junior lightweight world title. Brown was a formidable opponent, having already faced former world champions Angel Manfredy, Gabriel Ruelas, Shane Mosley and Diego Corrales. Steve, who trailed for much of the fight, rallied to score an upset victory with a stoppage in the eighth round.
The following year Steve made one successful defense of his title, a mandatory rematch against Brown that set aside any doubts that remained from their last fight. His next scheduled title defense, on August 18, 2002, was a rematch against Santos, who at that time sported a record of 42-4. Steve lost his crown, but not in the ring. He had to give up his title at the weigh-in because he was 2 3/4 pounds overweight. Still, Steve went on to win the fight. He attributed his failure to make weight to a long layoff.
Steve would go on to challenge for two more world titles. In October 2003, he went up against defending champion Carlos Hernandez for the IBF junior lightweight world title he had previously held. Unfortunately two unintentional head butts from Steve cut Carlos over both eyes. That forced the referee to stop the fight in the 10th round and go to the judges. Since Carlos was leading on all three cards at that point, Steve lost by technical decision. It was his first loss after nine straight wins over three years.
On August 7, 2004, he lost a 12-round unanimous decision to WBA super featherweight world champion Yodsanan "3K Battery" Sor Nanthachai. Steve had won his last 8 fights since that fight, including three in “The Contender 2” tournament, before losing a close match for the “Contender” championship against Grady Brewer. He also lost a fight with Demetrius Hopkins, one which many observers felt Steve won. But Steve won in his next bout, against Francisco Bojado.
"2 Pound" now fights at 140 pounds. Steve had trouble making the 130-pound weight limit, but he could not pass up the world title shots that came his way. At 140 pounds, he should have no trouble making weight. This next December marks Steve's 11-year anniversary as a pro.
Steve now resides in Detroit, Michigan, and is married to Valerie, who is currently attending law school in the Motor City.
"The Contender 2" (2006) Highlights
Steve and Grady Brewer (21-11) met for the right to be crowned the champion of "The Contender." Steve started out aggressively, landing several shots. However, he was unable to take control of the fight as the bigger and stronger Grady dictated the pace. Grady made good use of his punches in the early rounds and outworked Steve on the inside and outside. Both fought well, but enough judges thought Grady was better to give him the win by split decision.
Week 10 of "The Contender 2" saw Steve matched up against the bigger and stronger Cornelius "K9" Bundrage (23-1). Cornelius came inside to keep Steve close, holding and hitting him in an attempt to keep him off his game. "K9" utilized this tactic effectively in previous bouts, but this time Steve used it to his advantage. "2 Pound" unleashed several effective combinations and kept his opponent on his toes.
After fighting last in the preliminary round, Steve was right back in the ring for the first quarterfinal bout against Nick Acevedo (16-1) in Episode 8. Both fighters had only three days to prepare for the fight, but what a fight it was! Nick unleashed a barrage of punches in the third round that hurt Steve, but that depleted his energy reserves, leaving Nick with nothing left for the remainder of the fight. The final two rounds saw a more determined Steve landing the better punches, enabling him to pull out a win by split decision.
In Episode 7, Steve fought Freddy Curiel (15-5-2). In what was perhaps the best fight of the show to date, Freddy gutted it out but was overwhelmed by Steve, who proved to be the better and quicker fighter. In a dominating display, "2 Pound" quickly wrested control of the bout and landed shot after shot. At the end, he walked away the winner by unanimous decision.
Date of Birth: February 26, 1977
Residence: Detroit, Michigan
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon
Record: 33-5, 9 KOs
Reach: 68 1/2"
Manager: LW Management
Professional Experience: 38 fights, 272 total rounds (66 world championship rounds)
Average Length of Bouts: 7 rounds
Knockout Percentage: 24%
* IBF Junior Welterweight (140 pounds) #15
* IBF World Junior Lightweight (2000-2002), one successful defense
* USBA Junior Lightweight champion (2000)
October 6, Las Vegas, NV: Francisco Bojado (18-2), won by split decision (10 rounds).
Scoring: 96-94, 97-93 for Steve, 96-94 for Bojado.
Summary: Francisco began aggressively, but Steve stayed with his tactics. Steve's superior conditioning and technique helped him get the victory.
March 17, Las Vegas, NV: Demetrius Hopkins (26-0-1), lost by unanimous decision (12 rounds).
Scoring: 118-110, 118-110, 117-111 for Hopkins.
Summary: Steve dictated the pace of the bout, landing more shots and keeping Demetrius off his game plan. Although the fight appeared somewhat close but in Steve's favor, the judges scored it for Demetrius.
September 26, Los Angeles, CA: Grady Brewer (21-11), lost by split decision (10 rounds).
Scoring: 97-93, 96-94 for Grady, 96-94 for Steve.
Summary: Although Steve fought aggressively, Grady was able to control the fight. Grady fought well inside when the two fighters clinched. It was very close, but ultimately the decision went to Grady.
September 20 (aired on ESPN's "The Contender"), Los Angeles, CA: Cornelius Bundrage (23-1), won by unanimous decision (5 rounds).
Summary: Bundrage attempted to dictate his game by keeping Steve close. Steve more than held his own, scoring with combinations and eluding his opponent's punches.
August 29 (aired on ESPN's "The Contender"), Los Angeles, CA: Nick Acevedo (16-1), won by split decision (5 rounds).
Summary: Both fighters fought aggressively. Nick was more active early and hurt Steve in the third round, but he quickly ran out of steam. Steve paced himself well, fighting with more energy than his opponent in the final two rounds to emerge the winner.
August 22 (aired on ESPN's "The Contender"), Los Angeles, CA: Freddy Curiel (15-5-2), won by unanimous decision (5 rounds).
Summary: Steve's quickness and experience carried him in the fight. Curiel showed a lot of heart, but in the end Steve proved too quick and too strong for him.
November 19, Portland, OR: Julio Cesar Sanchez Leon (22-15-1), won by KO in the third round (2:36).
May 22, Choctaw, MS: Marteze Logan (19-14-2), won by unanimous decision (10 rounds).
Scoring: 99-91, 98-92, 97-93 for Steve.
Summary: Steve dominated most of the fight. Although he was cut over the right eye in the fifth round, he did not let that stop him. Steve consistently outworked Logan and landed the sharper punches.
April 7, Temecula, CA: Alfonso Garcia (6-8), won by KO in the first round (2:32).
Summary: Steve knocked Garcia down with a right hand in the first and only round of the fight. Garcia was counted out at 2:32.
December 16, Lemoore, CA: Ricardo Barajas (23-3-1), won by split decision (8 rounds).
Scoring: 78-74, 77-75 for Steve, 77-75 for Barajas.
October 1, Coachella, CA: Steve Quinonez (28-8-1), won by split decision (10 rounds).
Scoring: 96-94, 96-94 for Steve, 96-95 for Quinonez.
Summary: Quinonez was a former NABF lightweight champion. Steve boxed effectively in the early and middle rounds, but Quinonez rallied in the late rounds. This resulted in a close fight, though Steve still came out on top.
August 7, Mashantucket, CT, for the WBA super flyweight world title: Yodsanan "3K Battery" Sor Nanthachai (42-2-1), lost by unanimous decision (12 rounds).
Scoring: 117-111 on all three scorecards.
Summary: Steve was outworked for most of the fight, though he rallied in rounds 7, 8 and 12. Yodsanan, a southpaw, was able to consistently press forward and outbox Steve for most of the fight.
June 4, Lincoln City, OR: Arthur Cruz (19-14-2), won by TKO in the second round (1:59).
Summary: Taking the fight on one week's notice, Steve weighed in at a career-high 146 pounds. He dominated a clearly overmatched Cruz throughout the fight, giving him no chance to answer back. Steve scored two knockdowns in the second round with body punches. Cruz was able to get up both times, but the referee stopped the bout at 1:59 when Steve pummeled Cruz with a series of punches that drove him to the ropes.
October 4, Los Angeles, CA, for the IBF junior lightweight world title: Carlos Hernandez (39-3-1), lost by technical decision when the bout was stopped on cuts after 10 rounds.
Scoring: 98-92, 97-93, 97-94 for Hernandez.
Summary: It was an exciting fight, with both fighters giving strong performances. Steve staggered Hernandez in the fourth round, but Hernandez was able to outwork Steve for most of the fight. Hernandez was cut over the left eye when their heads clashed in the sixth round, and over the right eye when their heads again clashed in the 10th round.
April 26, Las Vegas, NV: Silverio Ortiz (13-2), won by unanimous decision (10 rounds).
Scoring: 99-91, 98-92, 97-93 for Steve.
Summary: Although Steve felt his timing was off slightly in the early rounds, he dominated the fight and scored a victory.
January 3, Norman, OK: Ronnie Longakit (6-8-1), won by TKO in the fifth round (0:30).
Summary: Steve outboxed Longakit, rocking him several times, and stopped him at 0:30 of the fifth round.
August 18: David Santos (42-4), won by split decision (12 rounds).
Scoring: 117-111, 117-111 for Steve, 115-113 for Santos.
Summary: Prior to the fight Steve had to relinquish his IBF junior flyweight title when he weighed 2.75 pounds over the limit at the weigh-in. The fight still went on as scheduled. In the fourth round Steve rocked Santos and cut him over the left eye, but Santos rallied in the fifth to stun Steve. That did not matter as Steve outboxed Santos for much of the fight.
September 29, Miami, FL, for the IBF junior lightweight world title: John Brown (23-8), won by unanimous decision (12 rounds).
Scoring: 117-111, 115-113, 115-113 for Steve.
Summary: This was Steve's first defense of his IBF junior lightweight world title. Brown was able to turn in a good performance, fighting aggressively. However, Steve was the busier and more accurate puncher, and he staggered Brown in the 12th round.
December 3, Miami, FL, for the vacant IBF junior lightweight world title: John Brown (22-7), won by TKO in the eighth round (2:22).
Summary: Brown built an early lead, but Steve rallied in the later rounds. In the eighth round, Steve unleashed a combination that lacerated the cartilage in Brown's left ear, causing blood to come out. The referee then stopped the fight at 2:22 of the eighth round, giving Steve the victory. The judges after seven rounds had scored the fight 69-64, 67-66 for Brown and 67-66 for Steve.
September 17, Detroit, MI, for the USBA junior lightweight title: David Santos (37-3), won by unanimous decision (12 rounds).
Scoring: 120-108, 118-110, 117-111 for Steve.
Summary: Steve turned in an impressive performance and dominated the fight. He was far more aggressive than Santos and staggered him in the 10th round. Santos was cut over his left eye in that round, and by the final bell he was swollen around both eyes.
August 18, Concho, OK: Moises Pedroza (21-2-1), won by unanimous decision (10 rounds).
Scoring: 100-90 on all three scorecards.
Summary: Pedroza was a late replacement. Steve was the quicker and more accurate puncher, and he dominated the fight.
June 16, Las Vegas, LV: Ernesto Zepeda (24-3-2), won by majority decision (10 rounds).
Scoring: 97-93, 96-94 for Steve, 95-95 for a draw.
Summary: Zepeda landed the harder punches, but Steve was the more aggressive fighter, consistently backing Zepeda up. By the end of the fight Zepeda was cut over both eyes and had a bloody nose.
May 19, Beverly Hills, CA: Don Futrell (15-2), won by unanimous decision (6 rounds).
Scoring: 59-55 on all three scorecards.
March 11, in Indio, CA: Alejandro Gonzalez (41-4), lost by majority decision (12 rounds).
Scoring: 115-113, 115-113 for Gonzalez, 114-114 for a draw.
Summary: Gonzalez was a former WBC featherweight world champion. He was the harder puncher and was effective in attacking the body, though Steve was the more aggressive fighter and scored well with combinations. It was a very close fight that unfortunately did not turn out in Steve's favor.
January 22: against Juan Torres (11-8), won by unanimous decision (8 rounds).
January 9, in Bay St. Louis, MS: David Armstrong (16-5-2), won by majority decision (6 rounds).
Scoring: 58-56, 58-57 for Steve, 57-57 for a draw.
February 26, Las Vegas, NV: Gustavo Tapia (7-8-3), won by unanimous decision (10 rounds)
Scoring: 97-93, 97-93, 96-94 for Steve.
Summary: This fight was Steve's 10-round debut.
December 6, Reno, NV: Octavio Suarez, won by majority decision (4 rounds).
Scoring: 40-36, 39-37 for Steve, 38-38 for a draw.
Summary: This fight at age 19 marked Steve's professional debut.
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