Yuri Foreman fighting Miguel Cotto(Matthew Fishbane for Tablet Magazine)
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Yuri Foreman Returning to Vegas

Orthodox boxer had a tough year

Dan Klein
March 02, 2011
Yuri Foreman fighting Miguel Cotto(Matthew Fishbane for Tablet Magazine)

Yuri Foreman stole the hearts of the boxing world when, while defending his title against Miguel Cotto last June at Yankee Stadium, his right knee gave out. The Belarus-born Orthodox rabbinical student (Listen to him here on Vox Tablet) fought on for two more rounds, even after his side threw in the towel, and got wide praise for his endurance and pride. Now he’s back after a year of surgery, rehab, the death of his manager Murray Wilson, and the birth of his son Lev, and will be fighting Pawel Wolak on the March 12th Miguel Cotto-Richardo Mayora undercard in Las Vegas.

Before the injury, Foreman had a fan-unfriendly style that—while effective—focused more on defensive movement and was low on knockouts. He claimed in an interview that his knee is now stronger then before, which should be filed under ‘needs to be seen to believed,’ although one reporter watching him train said it looked fine. (Yuri says he feels when it’s going to rain, “Good thing the fight is Vegas; the chance of rain is slim.”) He’s also got a new trainer in the infamously tough 82-year-old tailor Al Certo.

Pre-injury Yuri would have been a favorite against Wolak, but like another Orthodox boxer training to be a Rabbi, he needs this win to stay in contention. On the other hand, if he loses he has a fall back—apparently he’ll finish his Rabbinical training within the year.

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