Steward Questions Foreman’s Focus
WBA Super Welterweight champion Yuri Foreman is a very busy man, getting a lot of attention lately. He is just days away from the toughest fight of his career – 12 rounds against a desperate Miguel Cotto who is trying to save his boxing career which can ill afford a third high-profile defeat in the last two years.
Foreman, along with training for the fight on Saturday night at the new Yankee Stadium – the first fight at Yankee Stadiumn since Ali vs. Norton III in 1976 – has been all over the media. He did a media workout on Tuesday and the final press conference on Wednesday. He was recently featured on ESPN’s E:60 and the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” TV show on ABC. Foreman also served as Grand Marshal for the Israel Parade on May 23 in Manhattan and will appear on Friday night at the Fox News Channel Greta Van Susteren show “On The Record with Greta Van Susteren.”
But that’s just the easy part for the 29-year-old Belarus-born, Israeli-raised, current New York City resident. Now Foreman has to fight the highly motivated 29-year-old Cotto who has guaranteed a victory for himself. Cotto is said to be a rejuvenated fighter now that he is working with Hall of Fame coach Emanuel Steward after enduring brutal losses to Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao. Reports indicate that Steward has fine-tuned Cotto’s style and that the duo have an excellent professional chemistry working with each other.
Steward respects Foreman’s boxing abilities but wonders if the magnitude of such a big event as a major world title fight in his hometown could depreciate from an optimal performance by Foreman. “There’s so much going on around him, it could turn out to be a negative,” speculated Steward at Wednesday’s press conference. “There’s so much attention, he’s gotta be here, he’s gotta be there. This is almost like a Yuri Foreman/Jewish Celebration show. Just like the Bar Mitzvah is the coming out for a child, this is like the coming out for him to be a Jewish star now. A lot of times there’s too much festivities, where as we’re going to be working on our strategy, totally focused on the fight.”
Foreman will be making his first world title defense after defeating Daniel Santos in late 2009. His record is 28-0 with 8 KOs. Cotto, the former Super Lightweight and Welterweight champ is gunning for his third divisional title, has a record of 34-2, 27 KOs.
Curiously, Cotto’s name precedes the champion Foreman’s on fight posters and banners.