Photos by Tom Casino/SHOWTIME
Former WBA super welterweight champion Yuri Foreman and his new trainer Al Certo hosted a media workout today at Kingsway Gym in New York City. Foreman (28-1, 8 KOs) is deep in training for his comeback fight against Top-10 contender Pawel Wolak (28-1, 18 KOs). Foreman is one of the many fighters on the March 12 SHOWTIME PPV card from MGM Grand in Las Vegas with an amazing story of perseverance. In the last year, Foreman lost his WBA Super Welterweight World Championship, tore his ACL, had a child with his wife and lost his long time manager and friend, Murray Wilson.
Through it all, Foreman stayed committed to his family, Jewish faith and boxing. On Tuesday while holding a workout from Kingsway Gym in Manhattan, Foreman looked swift while going through his routine without a knee brace and kept the media laughing afterwards. Below are some highlights.
Foreman on the status of his surgically repaired knee:
“Doctors say it should be no problem. It should be as strong as before. Yesterday, it was raining, for example, I felt it. I feel the weather. Good thing the fight is Vegas; the chance of rain is slim.”
Will Foreman wear a brace for this March 12 fight?
“No brace. It’s going to be like Forrest Gump. The joint itself will be stronger [than before the injury].”
Foreman’s feelings about being on this pay-per-view broadcast with his old friends at SHOWTIME :
“It’s great. Listen, it’s one of the biggest channels out there today. It’s a great honor and I’m thanking SHOWTIME for the opportunity. I love it.”
On what he expects from his March 12 opponent Pawel Wolak:
“A lot of pressure. That’s what he does, a lot of pressure. I guess he lives up to his name, ‘Raging Bull.’ Once in a while, he’s jabbing with his head. I have to be careful… be ready for the pressure.”
On fighting without a title:
“I always consider myself an underdog. Even winning the world title, I considered myself an underdog so losing the world title, nothing has changed. I’m still hungry. There’s a lot of work to do.”
“Losing the title, you know I had many things after that: surgery, birth of my son and the passing of my friend and manager, Murray Wilson, in a short amount of time. Everything happens for a reason. In Judaism, they say everything that happens is always for the good. So I take that experience as a positive experience.”
On boxing fans commending Foreman’s courageous performance with a torn ACL at Yankee Stadium against Miguel Cotto:
“I came home and had 300 friend requests from Puerto Rico from Facebook, so that’s good… that was a joke.”
Does Foreman like fighting as a New Yorker?
“Being the capital of the world, coming to this city and great country ten years ago, I never even had a vision that I would fight in Yankee Stadium or even be world champion. The saying, ‘If you make it in New York, you can make everywhere work,’ you know, it’s true. In different countries, if you belong to a certain ethnic group, perhaps you’re not going to make it because you’re born a different color. But here, no matter what your background is, if you put in 100 percent, you can make it and nobody will look at you as this [outsider]; you’re a world champion. That’s what’s really great about it. I love this city. I love the people.”
On how long until Foreman becomes a rabbi:
“Probably less than a year.”
On what he would have done differently from the Cotto fight:
“Perhaps stay away from the wet, wet patches in the ring. Boxing is not a sprint. It’s a marathon race and I had the plan for 12 rounds, not for six. Unfortunately, when you come to the fight, for example, you have A, B, C plan but with an injury like that, there’s no B plan.”
Does Foreman want a rematch with Cotto?
“Yea, of course. I’ll always have the desire. It’s up to, of course, Bob [Arum]. But you know, I don’t have a yearly plan.”
On how having a child changes everything:
“I have a bird, a parrot. Before the baby, the parrot was like my baby. ‘Oh, make sure he eats.’ And after the baby, my parrot just became a pet.
With a stronger knee, will we see more power and knockouts from Foreman?
“Who knows? Knockouts, I don’t even remember when was [the last time I scored one].
Could Foreman take his fellow actor, Channing Tatum, from Fighting in a real fight?
“Channing Tatum? I have a very good chance to beat him up. Smash his head into the water fountain.”
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For the first time in five years, Hall of Fame promoters Bob Arum and Don King will join forces to present “Relentless” — the first major pay-per-view world championship boxing event of the season — featuring the Pride of Puerto Rico, MIGUEL COTTO defending his World Boxing Association (WBA) super welterweight title against two-division world champion RICARDO “El Matador” MAYORGA, on Saturday, March 12, at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev. Cotto vs. Mayorga will be produced and distributed Live on SHOWTIME PPV, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. The pay-per-view broadcast will also feature the return of World Boxing Council (WBC) female super welterweight champion CHRISTY MARTIN going for her landmark 50th professional victory against DAKOTA STONE and IBF lightweight champion MIGUEL VAZQUEZ defending his title against mandatory challenger LENNY ZAPPAVIGNA.
Cotto vs. Mayorga will be promoted by Top Rank, in association with Cotto Promotions, Don King Productions, Tecate and MGM Grand. Remaining tickets, priced at $400, $300, $200, $100, and $50, not including applicable service charges, can be purchased at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino.) Ticket sales are limited to 16 per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster (800) 745-3000. Tickets are also available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
The Cotto vs. Mayorga pay-per-view telecast, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, has a suggested retail price of $49.95. It will be produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME PPV®. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. For Cotto vs. Mayorga fight week updates, log on to www.sports.SHO.com or www.toprank.com[Gallery not found]