Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Yuri Foreman Works Out & Knee Looks Ready for March 12 Fight

Yuri Foreman, the first orthodox Jew to win a championship fight in nearly 70 years, worked out today in a Manhattan gym before getting ready to take off for his Super Welterweight match up against Pawel Wolak March 12 in Las Vegas.  It is Foreman's first fight since losing the title last June.

At Kingsway Gym, Foreman (28-1, 8 KO's) looked sharp and showed no lingering signs of his surgically-reconstructed right knee which he hobbled around on in that infamous fight last June 5 at Yankee Stadium against Miguel Cotto.

Once again Foreman will be in the same arena as Cotto, but in different fights.  Last June, Foreman--the Brooklyn rabbinical student--fought courageously in a WBA Junior Middleweight Championship fight against the challenger Cotto.  It was the first boxing match at the new Yankee Stadium and produced one of the most surreal scenes in boxing history.  And that's saying a lot.

The fight was marred after Foreman slipped in the seventh round and re-injured an already bandaged right knee.  Foreman, the 2001 Golden Gloves champion, continued fighting while hopping around on his left leg while his wife, Leyla Leidecker,  screamed at trainer, Joe Grier, to throw in the towel.

After Cotto began punishing the valiant Foreman, the towel was tossed.  Then it got weird.

Cotto raised his arms in victory as the ring filled with reporters, trainers, officials and photographers.  In a bizzare scene, the referee Arthur Mercante Jr., threw the towel back and let the fight continue.

Foreman's game but desperate comeback was stopped in the ninth after it became clear he couldn't defend himself anymore.

That gutsy performance is remembered by many and is a testament to Foreman's resolve and heart.

Foreman will be fighting on the "Relentless" undercard against Wolak, while Cotto (35-2, 28 KO's) will face Ricardo Mayorga (29-7-1, 23 KO's) for twelve rounds in the World Super Welterweight Championship at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Foreman, the 30 year-old former Super Welterweight champ, worked out in front of the New York press and looked fit, strong and ready to go. He moved around the ring for ten rounds and there were no tell-tale signs of damage to that once-crippling right knee.

He'll be facing Wolak (28-1, 18 KO's) who is the #7 ranked Super Welterweight riding a seven-bout winning streak over two years.  Four of those were knockouts by the 29 year-old Jersey guy.

The right-handed Foreman is know for his speed and movement.  He has been called "pure and natural counter puncher" by most experts.  He'll have to be wary of Wolak's hard body punches.

In his last fight, Foreman's knee gave out before his heart.  He went to the canvas twice and most fans felt the fight was over when he couldn't move and it wasn't until two rounds later when Cotto caught Foreman with a hard left hook to the body that Mercante called it off.

It was one of the most entertaining fights of last year and made Foreman a hero.  But if  Foreman had his way, it would have ended differently.  After that fight he said, "We're world champion.  I fight. I didn't want it to stop. I wanted it to continue."

March 12 could be the first step to Cotto-Foreman II.

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