Israel’s First World Boxing Champ Announces Retirement

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Yuri Foreman, Israel's most successful boxing champ.Credit: Getty Images

Yuri Foreman, Israel’s most successful boxing champ, announced his retirement from the ring on Monday after over a decade as a pro. Foreman, who was tentatively scheduled to fight on June 7, cited contractual inequities as the reason for his decision to call it a career.

The boxer posted the following message on Facebook, which was read by his fans from around the world: “Dear Friends! Unknowingly I signed a very harmful contract regarding my boxing career. I tried all possible ways to free myself from it, but nothing else I can do, than announce my retirement from boxing. So from now I’m on to bigger and better things. Much blessings.”

The overwhelming reaction was one of surprise, and many fans are trying to contact his manager to rectify the situation, so their hero can continue to make them proud.

Foreman, who immigrated to Israel with his family from Belarus when aged 9 and began boxing as a youth, was almost unstoppable in the ring as an amateur. Drawn to religion, he decided to study in a yeshiva to become a rabbi, and has been advancing his Talmudical studies in Brooklyn while accumulating a respectable resume as one of the world’s premier boxers.

The 33 year old turned pro at the beginning of 2002, at age 21. He won his first 27 consecutive fights through the end of 2008, before having a fight disqualified (no contest) in June 2009 when his opponent, Cornelius Bundrage, committed an unintentional head-butt.

On December 6, 2007, Foreman captured the NABF light middleweight title by defeating Andrey Tsurkan. He successfully defended his title against Saul Roman and James Moore. On November 14, 2009 he defeated Daniel Santos to capture the WBA World super welterweight title and become Israel’s first world boxing champion.

Due to a knee injury, he lost the next fight of his pro career to Miguel Cotto in June 2010. He attempted a comeback in March 2011, but lost to Pawel Wolak.

Foreman opted for surgery and rehabilitation for his knee. He was ready to return to the ring in 2013, and won his first three bouts by unanimous decisions. In November 2013 he scored a first-round knockout over Javier Gomez in convincing style to put the icing on the cake of his illustrious career.

As a professional boxer. Foreman achieved a 32-2 record, with 9 knockouts. He finished his career ranked 51st out of 1,352 boxers in the world in the light-middleweight division. 

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