Boxing: yuri foreman

Yuri Foreman is in comeback mode

December, 6, 2011
I got Yuri Foreman on the phone Tuesday afternoon and said, "Hello to the junior middleweight champion of Park Slope, Brooklyn!"

He laughed, and then we chatted about his ring plans for 2012. The former WBA 154 pound champion lives near me in Brooklyn, and has been working out at the famed Gleason's. He told me he's getting closer to setting a date for a return to the ring, and that he is hungry to be once again known as a champion of a much wider area than this 'hood.

"I needed a break," the 31-year-old boxer who grew up in Israel told me. "After the Yankee Stadium experience, I had ACL surgery on my right knee, and a few friends who are doctors and fighters said take a year off." Foreman had the surgery after that June 2010 Yankee Stadium loss to Miguel Cotto (TKO9, in which he impressed watchers by fighting on one leg for a spell) and didn't listen to the friends, or his body, and came back to the ring in March 2011 against swarming Jerseyite Pawel Wolak, and couldn't continue after five rounds. "I guess I needed a humbling experience," said the boxer who has been studying to become a rabbi for a few years now. "I shouldn't have jumped back in so soon. It was humbling. I still needed that time off to build the leg up. It's almost same size as the healthy leg."

So, what's left to accomplish, after beating David Santos in November 2009 for the WBA crown?

"I like the feeling of being world champion," Foreman said. "Hopefully the motivation is there, I think it is."

He watched the bouts which ran at MSG on Saturday. He noted that Delvin Rodriguez fought a stellar gameplan against Wolak, enroute to a UD10 win. I noted that Foreman could have fought a similar style and had similar success, perhaps, if he'd been healthy, and hadn't tried the Al Certo experiment. (Foreman hooked on with the veteran Certo, who was ill and couldn't be present much in the gym leading up to the Wolak fight. Foreman's camp wasn't his best and he went in to the bout feeling like a shadow of himself, he told me.)

Would he like another crack at Wolak? "Sure I would, definitely," Foreman said.

"Against Wolak, that was just my body in it. I had no motivation, I was not present. Boxing is the kind of sport, either you are 100 in or you better not be there."

Foreman was also still mourning the loss of his manager-mentor Murray Wilson, who died in October 2010.

Looking forward, it looks like Foreman will officially reunite with trainer Joe Greer, with whom he won the crown. "If it isn't broken ...," the boxer said, in regards to his switch to Certo.

He ended the call with a polite chops bust, referring to the limited scope of territory that comes with the championship I bestowed upon him. Sounds to me like Foreman is gearing up to take back some territory.

NY P4P list, Nos. 9-6

November, 9, 2011
Ladies and gentlemen, here's the next batch of our NY Top 20 pound-for-pound list. No hate mail or Twitter torture yet from fight fans or the fighters themselves indicating that my judgement is absent. So far, so good.. But now we're into the NYC P4P Top 10, so we shall see if all will remain mellow.

9) Yuri Foreman:After suffering back-to-back losses, the Park Slope, Brooklyn, resident has taken some time to determine if his heart and head are where they need to be to continue in the savage science. A title loss to Miguel Cotto in June 2010 was understandable, a stoppage loss to Pawel Wolak in March less so. He's a stick-and-mover who might've been stripped of mobility by a knee injury suffered in the Cotto bout, so the 28-2 Foreman's best days might be past.

8) Danny Jacobs: The sky was the limit for Jacobs, until it came crashing down in the form of Dmitriy Pirog, who KOd the Brooklynite in round five of their July 2010 scrap for a vacant middleweight strap. He's 22-1 with 19 KOs but this is an unforgiving business, and they don't refer to him as "The Golden Child" so much anymore. One loss for a heralded kid, a four time GG champ, maybe the best NY amateur since Mark Breland, can send them back, back, back of the line. Fair or not, that's the way it is. We shall see if Jacobs can accept that, and get over it. He's only 24, so we bet he does, and by next year is a lot higher on this list.

7) Zab Judah: Zab had many thinking he'd gotten his head screwed on tight and was ready for a stunning and stellar third act. He found God, and Main Events thought the kid from Brownsville had become a man, and their next champion. Then he stunk the joint out against Amir Khan in July, going down on a body shot and crying foul that he was hit low. He's 34, and it's conceivable the ex-junior welter and welter champ, who calls Vegas home now, puts it all together ... but not likely. Humans typically revert to form when pushed, and sad to say, so while possessing skills galore, Judah (41-7) reverts to a manner which keeps him from excelling like he should. But the book's last chapter hasn't yet been written, so hope is alive.

6) Joshua Clottey: We might have to insert some sort of clause which speaks to how often guys fight, because while Clottey has more than a bit of talent, he finds reasons to stay out of the ring too easily. Often, he complains that purses offered to him aren't high enough. It's tempting to drop him down right now, and as I consider his woeful showing against Manny Pacquaio in March 2010 (wide UD loss). Clottey is 34, fought once in 2009, once in 2011, and is slated to have his first fight of 2011 on Nov. 19, against 21-6-1 Calvin Green. He's on thin ice.

Thanks to consultants Zach Levin, "Manager X," Kevin Rooney and Ryan Songalia for their input into the NYC P4P. Follow me on Twitter here . Send suggestions or hatemail to