Yuri Foreman

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Yuri Foreman was 11 years old when his family emigrated from Belarus to Israel ending up in a small city called Haifa. Picked on by his classmates because of his Soviet origins, Foreman soon picked up boxing, a sport he had been passionate about since he was a seven year old boy and watching Mike Tyson fight on television.

 

With nowhere to train (boxing is not very popular in Israel), Foreman and several other boys began to train each other the fundamentals of boxing in a dirt lot or in makeshift rings set up in high school classrooms. Eventually when he could find no real competition to spar with, Foreman was told to go fight the Arabs, which he proceeded to do. He entered a Palestinian Arab gym and soon began to spar with the locals, earning an enormous amount of respect and admiration from just about everyone he encountered, especially after knocking out a few of the Arab fighters.

Soon Foreman began competing as an amateur and eventually won several Israeli national championships. At this point he was fighting in the European style, which can be described as quick leg movements and lots of jabs.

In 1999 Foreman immigrated to the United States and made his new home in Brooklyn, New York. The first stop he made upon his arrival was to the fabled Gleason's Gym where he immediately fell in love with the environment. He was soon training and sparring with the likes of welterweight champ Zab Judah.

Combining both the European and American styles of boxing, in 2001 Foreman won the New York Golden Gloves.

In 2002 the 5'11 Foreman went pro fighting as a Junior Middleweight at 154 pounds. In December of 2007 he won a split decision against Andrey Tsurkan and claimed the NABF super welterweight title.

Along with boxing, Foreman studies the Talmud and Jewish mysticism with Brooklyn Rabbi DovBer Pinson. He wears a Star of David on his trunks.

As of April 2008 his record stands at 25-0 with 8 knockouts, and he has been facing increasingly tough competition. On April 2, 2008 he fought undefeated Saul Roman to a 10 round decision winning the NABF light middleweight title.

He, Roman Greenberg and Dimitriy Salita are considered the three top Jewish prospects in the sport of boxing.

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Statistics
Real name

 

Rated at

Middleweight

Height

5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)

Nationality

Flag of Israel Israeli

Birth date

August 5, 1980 (1980-08-05) (age 28)

Birth place

Gomel, Belarus

Stance

Orthodox

Boxing record
Total fights

25 (through April 2008)

Wins

25

Wins by KO

8

Losses

0

Draws

0

No contests

0

Yuri Foreman (born August 5, 1980, in Gomel, Belarus) is a 5'11" undefeated professional Israeli middleweight boxer.

Boxing career

Foreman started boxing at age 7 in Belarus, which at that time was part of the Soviet Union. At age 9 he immigrated with his family to Israel.

Amateur career

 

I went to the Arab gym. The first time I walked in, I saw the stares. In their eyes, there was a lot of hatred. But I needed to box; and boy, did they all want to box me.[1]

Yuri Foreman, on his experience learning to box in Israel

In Israel he became an amateur boxer, and won 3 national boxing championships.

Foreman later moved to Brooklyn, New York and in 2001 he won the New York Golden Gloves.

During his amateur career, Foreman compiled a 75-5 record.

Pro career

Foreman turned professional in 2002 and, as of December 2007, remains undefeated in 25 fights.

Foreman defeated favored Anthony Thompson (23 (17 KOs)-2-0) of Philadelphia on June 9, 2007, in a tactical 10-round junior middleweight split decision in Madison Square Garden on the undercard of the Miguel Cotto-Zab Judah fight. Foreman countered well, and didn't let Thompson find a rhythm. Foreman also had some good flurries late in most rounds, and scored well in the last three rounds. There was a lot of work on the inside. The scores were 97-93 and 96-94 for Foreman, and 96-94 for Thompson.[2] Representatives for Germany-based 154-pound titlist Sergei Dzindziruk were in the house to scout the fight, with the intention of offering a title shot to the winner.[3]

In September 2007, he was ranked as the 8th-best welterweight (147 pounds) challenger by the WBA.[4]

In December 2007, Foreman won a 10-round split decision over Andrey Tsurkan (25-3; 16 KOs), to take the NABF super welterweight title from him at the Paradise Theater on Grand Concourse in The Bronx, New York City.[5] Foreman started off boxing away, and then displayed dazzling speed and boxing smarts at times, a durable chin, tough defense, hard counterpunches, and superior conditioning and will. [6] In the post-fight interview, Foreman raised his hands and wished the television audience a Happy Chanukah.[7] Later, Foreman was given six stitches over the right eye, and two over his left.[8]

In April 2008 he beat 28-4-0 Saul Roman in a unanimous decision.

Jewish heritage

Foreman is one of three top Jewish boxers in July 2008, the others being Dmitry Salita (28-0-1), the undefeated junior welterweight, and Roman Greenberg (27-1-0) heavyweight. A fourth boxer, former junior welterweight and undisputed welterweight champion Zab Judah (36-5-0), has been referred to in the press as "the best Jewish fighter of all time,"[9] but there is some confusion as to his religion since in 2006 he thanked his lord and savior Jesus Christ after a fight against Mayweather.[10]

 

I thought at first that people were pulling my leg. Mike Marley said that Yuri was becoming a Rabbi. But thats true, he is. So I see Jim Borzell out there, and Jim handles John Duddy. 'So,' I said to Borzell, 'can you get John to go to Seminary? What a fight, a Priest against a Rabbi, and Ill get somebody from Nevada whos Mormon to referee the fight.'[11]

Bob Arum, ever the promoter and full of ideas.

Foreman, who wears a Star of David on his boxing trunks, is an aspiring rabbi. "Boxing is sometimes spiritual in its own way," he said. "You have the physical and mental challenges in boxing, just like you have lots of challenges in exploring the different levels of Judaism. They are different but the same."[7]

Foreman studies the Talmud and Jewish mysticism in the morning, trains for boxing in the afternoon and attends rabbinical classes twice a week at the IYYUN Institute, a Jewish educational center in Gowanus. "Yuri is a very good student," said Rabbi DovBer Pinson, an author and lecturer who is Foreman's teacher. "Most people (in the class) who find out that he's a boxer are very surprised. He doesn't have that boxing personality, at least in the perception of what a boxer is. He's not the rough kid on the block. He's a sweet, easy-going kid.[7]

TV and Film

  • In addition to boxing, he has appeared various times in nationally televised fights on ESPN and Showtime.

  • His wife, Leyla Leidecker, also plans to release a documentary the spring of 2008 about women fighting in the Daily News Golden Gloves.[7]