By Jackie Kallen
Back in 2009, Jewish bomber Yuri Foreman, originally from Israel, now fighting out of Brooklyn, won the WBA Light middleweight title against Daniel Santos. Miguel Cotto took it away from seven months later, stopping him in the 9th round. Nine months after that, Foreman fought Pawel Wolak and only made it through 6 rounds. He considered retiring.
Born in the Soviet Union, he moved to Israel with his family when he was nine years old. There he became a revered amateur boxer and won many championships. Boxing was his calling and he loved his time in the gym. His goal was to be a world champion and he reached that goal. But then the tides turned with the two losses in a row.
Foreman took time to decide his future. After an almost two-year lay-off, he returned to the ring in January against club fighter Brandon Baue. Foreman won a shut-out 6-round decision and went on to beat Gundrick King and then Jamaal Davis by July.
Not a devastating puncher, Foreman has to rely on his boxing skills. The 33 year old Orthodox Jew is scheduled to fight Javier Gomez Tuesday night at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, FL. This 8-round match is not supposed to be a tough one. Gomez is 14-11 and has been stopped 8 times.
If Yuri Foreman has hopes of fighting his way back to a title fight against guys like Mayweather, Alvarez or Trout, he’s going to have to beat some better opposition. Foreman has slipped down to #48 in the Top 50 light middleweights in the world. He has his work cut out for him.
There are plenty of good fighters out there for Foreman to test himself against. But first he needs to get himself back into 10/12 round shape. He has to face off against the Angulos, Spinks’s, Martirosyans and Bundrages. Even Ishe Smith would be a good (if boring) match.
Hopefully Foreman will continue to move forward and reclaim his spot in the pecking order of 154 pound fighters. Does he have the drive, talent, and heart to do it? Time will tell.