He's about two months away from becoming a rabbi but Yuri Foreman isn't done just yet with closing the book on his ring career. The 32-year-old Park Slope, Brooklyn, resident, who has been out of the ring for 22 months while he did daddy duty, and let his motivational batteries recharge, gloved up on Thursday night at BB King's in Manhattan, and though he was not in with any world-beater, the ex-154 pound champ looked pretty sharp.
Foreman rose to 29-2 with a unanimous decision over limited but game Brandon Baue of Missouri, who slipped to 12-9. His legs are his best asset and Foreman's looked rust-free, as he moved left, moved right, popped his foe with the jab and threw a right every so often to mix it up.
"I felt very rusty," said the winner, who won 60-54 on all three judges' cards in a fight promoted by Lou DiBella. DiBella promoted Foreman early in his career and the two are pairing back up for another run. "I was more nervous than usual, but I was just happy to get some rounds in." Those who were familiar with the Foreman story kept an eye on his legs, as he's battled a balky right knee in the past. He hurt it as a teen, and injured it in a 2010 bout against Miguel Cotto at Yankee Stadium. He had surgery, and came back, but the knee wasn't top shelf, and he couldn't use that lateral movement as needed in his last effort, before his hiatus, a loss to Pawel Wolak.
On a bitterly cold evening, Foreman got warmed up right-quick, and dominated with smart boxing, only occasionally getting tagged by Baue, usually when he was trapped on the ropes, which was maybe four times, tops.
The victor drew a chuckle from a most-interested press after the fight, when he said that he'd "slept with my opponent in the same bed for the last week." The Belarus-born boxer noted some quizzical faces staring at him, and assured us that "was not to be taken literally." He was trying to say that Baue was occupying space in his head, while he waited for fight night to arrive.
Foreman can be seen walking the streets of Park Slope with wife Leyla and two year-old son Lev. He told the press he'd been busy "being a father" and that "parenting takes a lot of time." He seemed reasonably pleased with his comeback effort, but wasn't calling out top dogs at junior middleweight just yet. Names like Austin Trout and Canelo Alvarez leap out at him, but sometime within the next 24 months or so, he said.