Soon, one of Israel’s leading boxers will be back in the ring June 19 in Brookhaven after an extended hiatus. Yuri Foreman, otherwise known as the “Boxing Rabbi,” was previously the WBA super welterweight title holder from 2009 to 2010 and is now making a comeback tour with his second fight at the Buckhead Fight Club this month.
Foreman started boxing at age 7 in the Soviet Union, where he was born, before his parents made aliyah to Israel, bringing him with them. In 1999 he came to the U.S. to pursue his “American dream” to become a world champion boxer, he told the AJT. He achieved that goal in 2009 but lost the title in 2010, and will now continue his boxing career. He has even described this as his “second career,” in an interview with a boxing magazine.
As a lifelong boxer, Foreman is excited to make a return, he said in an interview with the AJT.
Foreman trained in Israel as a boxer before coming to the U.S. to compete on a higher level competitively. “Boxing is not generally very popular in Israel. … The only two groups that do training boxing in Israel are immigrants from Russia and former Soviet Republics and Arabs.” Training in a village near Haifa, Foreman became close with many Arab boxers, as they were his sparring partners. He said he “gained their respect. Nobody looks any different, from a Jew and an Arab, nobody cares. The boxing ring becomes an equalizer since you are not focusing on what is different but things we have in common.”
As a Jewish boxer in the U.S., he had different training regimens than non-Jewish boxers. Now an ordained rabbi, he described his training to the AJT, as “more 6/24, than 7/24, 6 days/24 hours.” As a religious Jew he doesn’t work on Shabbat or holidays. “It’s the same as non-Jewish boxers unless the calendars and holidays are different, … it’s pretty much the same.” Foreman has been preparing over the past few months for the fight in Brookhaven, where he will be going up against Gordie Russ. The fight will have a crowd in attendance so supporters of Yuri can buy tickets to attend, and the fight will be streamed online for a ticketed price as well.
For tickets and more information, visit https://www.buckheadfightclub.com/event-details/yuri-foreman-underground-showdown-2.