Ooof. Belarus-born Yuri Foreman’s previous bout, in which superstar Miguel Cotto forced him to retire after nine rounds, was a defeat from which he could take much happiness: He had held his own against one of the world’s greats, and called the fight only because an unforced slip hurt one of his knees badly.
But Foreman can take no similar consolation from Saturday night’s bout in Las Vegas, which his corner wisely stopped after opponent Pawel Wolak—no Miguel Cotto he—won the first six rounds with an increasing array of punishing body and head shots. While one may have expected Foreman’s bum knee—which since the Cotto fight last June underwent major surgery and rehab—to prove a problem, it actually, reportedly, was fine. Rather, Foreman just looked (and, he later said, felt) sloppy out there, and instead of playing a smart, measured strategy, went in close and tried to power-punch his way to victory. The result? He took numerous unguarded head shots, prompting his corner to throw in the towel. “I just didn’t feel it tonight,” he said afterward (where “it,” presumably, was anything other than either of Wolak’s gloves). He plans to rest before considering his future. In the meantime, who will be our Great Jewish Hope?
Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.