By Ryan Songalia
There comes a time when every undefeated fighter has to put his record on the line against a dangerous opponent to prove that his unblemished record is more substance than style. For Yuri Foreman, 22-0 (8KOs), that day is June 9th. Fighting on the televised under card of Miguel Cotto’s title defense against Zab Judah, Yuri looks to step out of the shadow of the more celebrated New York fighters and make a name for himself. I spoke with the Israeli-raised Foreman about this up-coming challenge and life in general.
BoxingScene.com: Tell me a little about your opponent, Anthony Thompson. What do you think of him as a fighter?
Yuri Foreman: "Well, he has a typical boxer style. He’s quick. He has a good punch and pretty much that’s it. He’s difficult to describe."
BoxingScene.com: Having this fight on the televised portion of the Cotto-Judah under card, do you feel this is the biggest stage you’ve ever been on?
Foreman: "Absolutely! Biggest stage, biggest network, and I’m very excited. I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time."
BoxingScene.com: There are a few people excited about the main event, who do you think is going to win it?
Foreman: "I don’t really care about the main event. I’m intense and am focusing on my fight. I’d like to see Zab win because he’s from Brooklyn. Zab would need to be in a sharp mental frame because Miguel Cotto is going to put a lot of pressure on him. Zab better be prepared in the same kind of mind set he was in for the second Cory Spinks fight. If he’s not then he’s in trouble."
BoxingScene.com: Fighting in your adopted hometown of New York City at Madison Square Garden, do you feel the environment is an advantage or a possible distraction?
Foreman: "Advantage. Fighting in my house, there are a lot of people going to support me. I’m not going in with the weight on my shoulders. I’m just going to go in and do my thing and win."
BoxingScene.com: For training camp, you’ve left Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn to train at Joe Grier’s Gym in Paterson, NJ. How has that affected your training?
Foreman: "It didn’t affect my training at all. I’m a focused guy and I like training with Joe. He’s a very motivating trainer. I love P-Town!"
BoxingScene.com: You’ve had several bouts of inactivity and a lot of fights that didn’t help to put you where you needed to be. Is there any chance of that coming into play in this fight?
Foreman: "I don’t think so. I’m not too concerned about that. I’m not giving too much thought to that. I’ve been training for a long time, for many months. I’ve been waiting and it just comes with the sport. I’m a professional, not an amateur. I’ve sharpened my skills in the gym and I won’t have the rust when I enter the ring."
BoxingScene.com: There have been several fighters in recent years who have made a name for themselves who were also of the Jewish faith. Dmitriy Salita, Roman Greenberg, and a few others have worn their faith as a fighting credential. Do you want to be looked upon as a Jewish hope as well?
Foreman: "Of course. I grew up in Israel. I lived there for nine years, I went to school there. This is my country, I gotta represent. I grew up with Roman Greenberg in Israel. We used to live together and had the same trainer."
BoxingScene.com: If you only had five artists in your I-Pod, who would they be?
Foreman: "I have my I-Pod right here. It’s a good question. Five artists, hmm. I would put Pantera. I would put some Russian music. More heavy music, like Metallica. Jimi Hendrix, and Queen. No actually I want to switch Motorhead for Queen. Lemmy Kilmeister is the man!"
BoxingScene.com: Anthony Thompson has one loss, and that’s to Grady Brewer. What do you take from that fight?
Foreman: "I don’t even look at it. When he comes to the ring Friday night, he will be the best Anthony Thompson in great shape for the fight. He made a mistake and if he repeats it, I will try to take advantage of it."
BoxingScene.com: This is the part where I want you to take off your gloves and put on your promoter’s hat. In thirty seconds or less, I want you to tell the fans why they should buy this Pay-Per-View or attend the fight live at Madison Square Garden. Starting…..now!
Foreman: "People should buy this fight because two great, young prospects will be fighting each other and a victory will put the winner into a possible title fight. Both of us are coming to win so it is going to be an exciting fight. Thirty seconds, BING!"
BoxingScene.com: What would you like to say to your fans around the world who are going to be watching this fight?
Foreman: "I would like to thank my friends and fans for their huge support. They should already be calling their cable companies to order the fight. Boxing fans should watch more boxing because boxing needs more viewers on TV because it needs it."
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