Though he won his first two fights after taking a two-year leave from professional boxing, Yuri Foreman (34-3-0) met his match last Friday night in Miami when WBA Super Welterweight Champion Erislandy Lara knocked out the rabbi from Brooklyn in the fourth round with a brutal uppercut. It was the first time Foreman, 36, had fought on Shabbat. He told ESPN, “Being a rabbi, it is sometimes very interesting to mix that with fighting, but Friday night I won’t be in rabbi mode. I will be all fighter. We are going to show skills and heart and power on Friday night.” Foreman was studied with and was ordained by Chabad rabbi DovBer Pinson.
Unfortunately, Foreman couldn’t match Lara who continues to call for title fights with WBO light middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, who currently holds the unified WBA, WBC, IBF, and IBO middleweight titles.
After the match, Foreman, who was bullied as a kid growing up in the Soviet Union, told the AFP “Of course I’m disappointed, but this is boxing. I got caught with a perfect punch and that’s what happens. I have been hit harder in my career, but I take nothing away from him. He’s a very strong puncher in his prime and I give him credit. I will take some time to talk to my team and my family and see what comes next, as far as boxing.”
Previous: Rabbi in the Ring
Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.