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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Foreman Shuts Out Davis

Yuri Foreman defeated Jamaal Davis by way of unanimous decision at Roseland Ballroom in New York, New York last night. All three judges scored the bout 80-72. Foreman moves his record to 31-2 with 8 KOs, while Davis falls to 14-10-1 with 6 KOs.

Foreman arrived at Roseland at 7:30 in the evening; his fight didn't begin until 10:30. During the hours of waiting in the dressing room, Foreman tried to stay positive. His trainer and manager exchanged funny stories as Foreman kept telling himself, "Stick to the plan. I've done the hard work. It's just another day at the office." He also calmed himself spiritually by reading passages from the Book of Psalms.

Foreman's routine in the dressing room before his fight tends to be the same whether he's facing an opponent he's expected to defeat, as was the case with Davis, or a bout for the championship against Miguel Cotto in Yankee Stadium. He feels just as much pressure against a fighter of the caliber of Jamaal Davis because Yuri has "everything to lose" as a decided favorite. The only difference is the amount of people hanging around the dressing room, which depends on the prestige of his opponent.

Foreman didn't know what to expect from Davis coming into the bout because he didn't have a lot of information about the Philadelphia native. Foreman said his strategy was to box and use lateral movement. Yuri felt he was more aggressive than in recent fights, he went to the body more, and mixed up his punches well. When Foreman had Davis on the ropes, he didn't preferred to allow Davis off the hook rather than press his advantage.

Foreman was proudest that he was able to implement what he and his trainer had worked on in the gym in the fight against Davis. Foreman was fluid throughout the bout while Davis was hesitant.

The former world champion described Davis as "a rugged fighter." He felt Davis was "good at landing combinations when he doesn't have to look for the opponent." Davis attempted to throw combos in the clinches against Foreman, something Yuri did his best to avoid. But after applying early pressure int he first round, Davis couldn't find Foreman because of the latter's movement and, as a result, was reluctant to throw punches.

In the fifth round, Davis was cut over his eye due to a clash of heads. Foreman began to target the eye with left hooks. Yuri sensed that Davis became more intense and applied more pressure in the aftermath of the cut. Foreman simply tried to stay in control in the face of Davis's perceived increase in aggressiveness.

Matt Richardson of FightNews.com was one of a smattering of Foreman critics following the fight. He characterized the bout as "a fairly dull fight" and a "snoozer." Richardson claimed a woman fell asleep in the front row during the contest and believes Yuri "has decent boxing skills but elects to run far more than punch, resulting in less than aesthetically pleasing performances."

To the general criticism that Foreman is a boring fighter, Yuri explained, "I like boxing. I like to use my brain [in the ring] and not use my brain as a punching bag. I like to outsmart my opponents." He added that if people don't appreciate that style, they don't have to watch. "They can turn the channel," he remarked.

One day after the fight, Foreman doesn't feel any soreness, but he is tired. "My fight was late last night and I had to wake up early for my kids. They don't care that I won last night. They won't let me sleep in." When asked if he told his eldest son Lev about the his victory, Yuri said that some friends had made a video of the bout for him and he showed it to his son. Lev then began throwing punches, but likely didn't understand that it was his father fighting and winning on the tape.

Foreman said his trainer believes he'll fight one more eight rounder and then move up to a ten round fight. For now, Foreman is taking a week off and going on vacation with his family. He'll be back in the gym in a week.

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