Foreman Decisions King

By Clarence George on April 5, 2013
Foreman Decisions King
It looks like a little girl's pout can do more damage than Yuri Foreman's fists. (Ed Diller)

I was at the Roseland Ballroom on New York’s West 52nd Street last night, covering the Yuri Foreman-Gundrick King fight…though it wasn’t much of one. To no one’s surprise—least of all journeyman King’s, who adopted a southpaw stance for whatever mysterious reason—former WBA junior middleweight champ Foreman won the six-rounder by unanimous decision. He sure as hell wasn’t going to win by stoppage—a little girl’s pout can do more damage than Foreman’s fists.

A bone-creaking bit of nonsense if ever there was one. But the evening wasn’t a total loss—one of the security guards gave me a piece of cherry-flavored taffy.

Is the Brooklyn resident serious about a comeback? If so, he’ll have to take on more challenging opponents and give more impressive performances (against Javier Francisco Maciel, for instance) if he hopes to get a crack at, say, Erislandy Lara or Vanes Martirosyan…let alone at one of the four junior middleweight titlists—Floyd Mayweather Jr. (WBA), Saul Alvarez (WBC), Zaurbek Baysangurov (WBO), or Ishe Smith (IBF).

Foreman, 32 (30-2, 8 KOs), is an 11-year pro. Save for a no contest against Cornelius Bundrage in 2009 (Foreman suffered an accidental headbutt), he was undefeated over the course of his first 29 bouts. He won the title in 2009 by defeating Daniel Santos via unanimous decision, thus becoming Israel’s first world champ. He lost the title the following year, his first defeat, to Miguel Cotto by ninth-round TKO.

Prior to yesterday’s win, Foreman last fought in January, beating Brandon Baue by unanimous decision, his first fight since being retired in the sixth by Pawel Wolak in March 2011.

Middleweight King, 34 (18-10, 11 KOs), entered the pro ring in 2007. His most recent fights, prior to last night’s loss, were in 2012. “Sho-Gun” lost to Charlie Ota by seventh-round TKO in March, beat Billy Cunningham in June and Mikel Williams in August, both by unanimous decision, and lost to George Tahdooahnippah by third-round TKO in September.

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  1. Clarence George 11:35am, 04/09/2013

    Santos?  Or Cotto?  But Foreman lost to him.

    Anyway, glad you liked it.  Thank you.

  2. pugknows 11:09am, 04/09/2013

    I like stories about Jewish fighters but more so with the old time ones. I think Yuri hit his pinnacle against the Puerto Rican whose name slips me at the moment but who had some gravitas.
    Anyway,  Enjoyed the read.

  3. Clarence George 07:35am, 04/09/2013

    Norm:  I think Foreman has a Hungarian wife, which is very much in his favor.

    As for a movie…who knows?  There was talk of one about Tony Galento, with Burt Young portraying the fat fighter, but it never came to fruition.

    Anyway, even if Foreman’s comeback proves successful, I don’t see him attaining the status of Ross, who’s among my favorite fighters.

    How things have changed.  “Jewish boxer” has become a virtual oxymoron, hasn’t it?  But that’s also largely true of the Italians and Irish.

  4. norman Marcus 07:17am, 04/09/2013

    Clarence: I guess you can call me a Foreman fan. His life story kinda reads like a screenplay. I like the drama. Steven Spielberg might like his life story. Don’t forget Hollywood is still a Jewish town. As for being self righteous, you might be right about that. I’ve known a few other Rabbis beside Foreman that fit that description. Gotta take the good with the bad. The thing I like about Yuri is that he is a link to the past, the 1930s. He is the first Orthodox Jew to win a championship belt since Barney Ross. Now Barney Ross -Guadalcanal, the Silver Star, they don’t make them like that anymore. The worse for us.
    I was hoping lightning might strike twice and we’d have another American icon. Doesn’t look that way now but we’ll know real soon won’t we?

  5. Clarence George 02:50am, 04/09/2013

    Appreciate the info., David.  Odd, given that he isn’t one.  Maybe he would do better if he fought orthodox, but I guess he’s tried that.

  6. David 08:29pm, 04/08/2013

    Every fight I’ve seen of King’s he’s fought as a southpaw, which is probably why he adopted a southpaw stance in this one.

  7. Clarence George 01:54pm, 04/06/2013

    An interesting comparison, Norm.  But though Pastrano was even more of a feather-fist, I think he’s more impressive, more the stuff legends are made of.

    As for Foreman’s future book and film fame…pretty much exclusive to Israel.  I don’t believe he has much of a fan base, except among Israeli and Jewish boxing aficionados. 

    Do you like him?  There’s nothing at all unsavory there that I know of, but a bit self-righteous, which I find a turn-off.

  8. Norm Marcus 01:31pm, 04/06/2013

    Hey Clarence- Do you think Foreman is another Willie Pastrano?  Sticks and moves, not a heavy puncher?
    Hope not, it would mess up the book and film rights down the road. Belarus, Israel, Brooklyn- Jews and Arabs. You know that payday is coming for sure!

  9. Clarence George 06:03am, 04/06/2013

    Thanks very much indeed, Norm.

    And I agree with you—Foreman is a very good fighter, and gutsy.  But I like to see hard punches thrown, and that’s hardly Foreman’s forte (he has a KO record of something like 25%).

    By the way, I don’t think he performed poorly against King, but it was dull and lackluster.  The fans anticipated it—although the feature bout, the arena went 75% empty when he came along.

    Will Foreman pull of a meaningful comeback?  Possible, yes, but not very probable.

  10. Norm Marcus 05:44am, 04/06/2013

    A good incisive read on this fight Clarence. You covered all the bases. Always enjoy your stories!
    Let’s not forget however that Yuri took 2 years off from the ring and is handling school and a new family now. That is no excuse however for a poor performance. Boxing demands 100% dedication if you are going to be successful with elite fighters. True, Foreman is starting slow, I’d give him a bit more time before we decide he is passed it. Remember, he did fight Cotto in Yankee Stadium. He was punching hard that night, no patty-cake. While he was behind on all three scorecards when the Cotto fight was stopped, he was putting in a decent performance. In fact, fighting on one leg late in the fight, not wanting to quit, showed me a lot of moxie!
    Look for Yuri to crank up the competition next time. Time waits for no man, not even a good guy like Foreman.

  11. Mike Casey 12:02am, 04/06/2013

    Lovely story, Irish!

  12. Clarence George 07:36pm, 04/05/2013

    Bravo, NYI, on coming up with this very interesting info on Levine.  Except for his relatively recent death, I knew none of it.

  13. NYIrish 07:08pm, 04/05/2013

    Since Mike and Clarence followed up on Artie, I ran his record again. I noticed he passed a year ago January at the age of 86. Back in the early 70s he sold cars at Luby Chevrolet in Queens NY. He also part timed as a bouncer in a club on Northern Boulevard called “Players” with another ex pug who owned a piece of the place. One night some of the young crowd was getting loud and shoving started. Artie appeared, eating from a bag of potato chips and smiling. He placed a meaty hand on the shoulder of the biggest guy, smiled with that wide flattened face and said “Have some chips. Be nice.” The hostilities evaporated. At that stage of the game Artie was built like a low slung refrigerator. He had a great sense of humour and was a gentleman.
    RIP Artie Levine.

  14. Clarence George 01:24pm, 04/05/2013

    Glad to do it, Mike, especially as Roseland’s in walking distance.  It’s right across the street from Gallagher’s Steak House, but Robert neglected to provide me with a dinner stipend.  A regrettable oversight.

    Yeah, I don’t know what Foreman thinks he’s doing.  Either step up the competition or hang ‘em up.

    NYI is of course right—Foreman’s no Levine.  And, yes, I also remember Robinson saying that.  High praise indeed.

  15. Mike Casey 01:09pm, 04/05/2013

    Thanks for the coverage, Clarence. Seems like Yuri is whiling away the time and just keeping himself occupied now. I note NYIrish’s comment about Artie Levine. Funnily enough, I just finished reading an old article about him. Robinson said that nobody hit him harder than Artie.

  16. NYIrish 12:07pm, 04/05/2013

    Artie Levine he aint. Doesn’t have the tool kit.

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