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Friday, December 30, 2011

The Year That Was

As was the case last year, apologies for having a year in review now as opposed to around Rosh Hashanah. But 2011 was a year of expectations unfulfilled in Jewish boxing.

The two big fights came within three weeks of each other about nine months ago. Junior middleweight Yuri Foreman lost to Pawel Wolak in March. Foreman cited a lack of hunger and has taken the rest of the year off. In April, Ran Nakash got a surprise opportunity to fight for the WBO belt against Marco Huck in Germany. Huck won a unanimous decision in a fight that Steve Kim of MaxBoxing.com labeled as one of the four most controversial verdicts of the year. Kim wasn't the only one who felt this way.

Numerous fights involving Jewish boxers fell through this year. Nakash wasn't able to find a willing opponent after his gritty title challenge. Welterweight Dmitriy Salita saw a fight with Ismael El Massoudi nearly usurped. Alexander Frenkel, who held the European cruiserweight belt, had numerous bouts against various veteran European fighters fall through. Frenkel has since lost the fire to box and is taking time off. Max Heyman had a fight scheduled with prospect Gayrat Ahmedov, but injured his hand in training.

However, there are many positives going forward for fans of Jewish boxing. In many ways, this year signified a changing of the guard. Boyd Melson, Cletus Seldin, and Zachary Wohlman are all undefeated. The three combined to go 12-0 with seven knockouts in 2011. The three should be active in 2012 as well.

Adn there's more good news. Nakash is scheduled to fight in January. Salita is in negotiations with El Massoudi once again. Foreman has indicated that he plans on returning to the ring in the coming year.

Stay tuned boxing fans.

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