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Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Interview with Yuri Foreman: The Future

Rabbi Yuri Foreman is looking to fight again this spring. The 41-year old former world champion cites his "desire to be on top" as motivation to continue his amazing career. Foreman was gracious enough to take the time to speak with The Jewish Boxing Blog in a wide-ranging interview. This article will focus on his future in the ring. His wife Shoshana Foreman, who serves as his manager, hopes to announce a fight date relatively soon.

While Foreman has had several long layoffs during his twenty-year professional boxing career, he's quick to state, "I never left boxing. I'm always in shape." It's not hard to believe him; Yuri has remained in the same weight class, the junior middleweight division, for his entire career. Yuri even considered trying to move down and make 147 for his next fight!

Foreman always stays active. He doesn't drink, smoke, or do drugs. He closely monitors his running distance and pace. "I run a lot," he says. "I don't really like to run, but it's probably the best exercise to stay in shape. It not only benefits you physically, but it strengthens your mind."

While training for a fight, he focuses on repetition, particularly when shadow boxing and doing bag work. He always uses maximum effort from the start and doesn't ease into any exercise. "Fighters get knocked out in the first round. You have to go hard from the beginning," he says.

These days, many young fighters like to show videos on social media of impressive pad work with their coaches. Foreman says, "Everyone's different. There's not one approach. But Russian trainers told me, 'Don't embrace the pads,' when I was young. It messes up distance. Your perception of distance is very important in boxing." Yuri, who grew up in the Soviet Union, likes doing pad work now though, because it challenges his stamina.

As a boxer who depends on speed, rhythm, and timing, the long layoffs have- rather unexpectedly- not hurt Foreman's comeback performances. He relies on "mobility, movement, and fitness" and since he is always in shape, he doesn't experience the same ring rust as some others have. Though some may see him as an older fighter, he intends to fight the same way as always.

"Money is not driving me," Foreman says of his desire to continue his career. "If money were the issue, I would go do something else." His goal is not to fight once or twice more, but to fight for the title. "I'm always pushing myself. I'm always challenging myself."

The words of his retired coach Joe Grier still echo in his head, "You have to try to be better than you were before. If you try to be the same as you were, it's time to retire."

Clearly, Yuri still has the hunger to succeed in the ring.

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