Yuri Foreman, remember him?
In 2009, Foreman outpointed Daniel Santos to win a junior middleweight world title. In doing so, Foreman became the first Orthodox Jewish boxer to win a world title in more than 70 years.
His success at the top was short-lived, however, because in his next fight, in June 2010, Miguel Cotto stopped the hobbled Foreman, who was dealing with a knee injury, in the ninth round at Yankee Stadium.
Then Foreman lost his next fight, too, by sixth-round knockout to Pawel Wolak in March 2011 and that was it for him on a major stage, even though Foreman won his next four small potato fights against low-level opponents on club shows.
By the end of 2013, Foreman was done, off to retirement to complete his studies to become a rabbi.
Now, after two years in retirement, the 35-year-old Foreman (32-2, 9 KOs) is making a comeback. He will fight an opponent to be named in an eight-rounder on Dec. 5 on the undercard of the Daniel Jacobs-Peter Quillin middleweight title bout at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
“I believe that timing is everything. I’ve been off for two years. I realized that I needed a little rest,” said Foreman, who moved to New York from Belarus as a youngster. “I love boxing. It is something that I’ve loved since I was a kid and I feel like I wanted to do it more.”
Foreman said he missed the routine of training and fighting and that was one of the things that prompted him to return, in addition to a desire to win a world title again.
“I wouldn’t come back just for the rush of it -- I would probably jump out of an airplane if I needed a rush,” Foreman said. “I like the daily routine. It’s going to the gym, it’s keeping a mental, emotional and spiritual balance. I want to become a world champion again.
“I’ve been in the gym since June. Camp is good. I have friends and sparring partners that are helping me. It is the same as any fighter -- preparation is a routine. It is refreshing to be back in the ring. I feel more centered spiritually and mentally. I am more mature. I just feel stronger all around.”
Foreman has had a chance to fight at major New York venues such as Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden, but he is excited to fight at the Barclays Center for the first time.
“This is great. I live on 6th Street, so 10 or 15 blocks away,” Foreman said. “I’ve always wanted to fight at Barclays Center. Every human has a desire and a goal. I had a desire to fight here and now I am. It is a big card with a lot of talent and great fighters. I am happy to be a part of it.”