By Chris Robinson
Belarus native Yuri Foreman has been flying under the radar since his 9th round TKO loss to Miguel Cotto last year, a bout in which he surrendered the WBA junior middleweight championship, and will look to get back on track against Polish charge Pawel Wolak on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The fight takes place on the Miguel Cotto-Ricardo Mayorga pay-per-view.
Wolak is a very crude fighter and the word 'finesse' has never been in his vocabulary. He will bring the fight to the sometimes-cautious Foreman and Yuri already knows what is in store.
"By being myself and boxing," Foreman said when asked how he is going to win the fight. "He puts on a lot of pressure and throws a lot of punches. So I would like to stay away from that and hopefully do my own thing."
Last June was a dreadful evening for Foreman as he suffered some punishment early against Cotto inside of Yankee Stadium before becoming hampered with an injured leg in the seventh round and eventually stopped with a chilling body shot in the ninth. A definite bitter pill to swallow at the time but Foreman says that everything is in the past and he is ready to move on.
"I put things behind me," he continued. "I'm looking to the future. I'm not going to put extra weight on myself worrying or being bothered by something else. I learned a lot from that and [my leg] is working better than ever."
Foreman admitted that a rematch with Cotto is something that is in the back of his mind and also favored Miguel this weekend while still warning that he needs to be cautious against Mayorga's awkward attack. The winner of the Cotto-Mayorga bout is said to be in line for a summer showdown against Antonio Margarito and I kicked the idea around to Foreman about the 'Tijuana Tornado' facing either man.
To soon-to-be rabbi was less than thrilled as he pondered both scenarios.
"It's definitely a fight," Foreman admitted. "Antonio Margarito is a tough guy but he was outclassed from every single angle by [Manny] Pacquiao. I'm not really that interested in seeing the winner of that fight facing Margarito."
Speaking of Pacquiao, the Filipino icon has a May 7th assignment on tap against living legend Shane Mosley that all of the boxing world will be watching. Pacquiao is a heavy favorite and is expected to tear through the 38-year old and Foreman can't help but wonder how much Shane has left at this point.
"It's very interesting," Foreman said of the fight. "However I don't know how much 'Sugar' Shane Mosley has, and I do like him as well, but I don't know. With his age you never know."
Seeing Foreman inside of the media center outside of the Garden Arena, I was brought back to November of 2009 when he stood in the exact same place just days before his title shot against Puerto Rico's Daniel Santos. Foreman would go on to shock many by fighting with a bit of aggression and hurting Santos a few times as he rolled to a decision victory in his finest moment as a professional.
I asked Yuri what that moment was like and just how bad he wanted it again.
"The feeling was amazing. It was a lifelong dream that I had as a kid. I was able to achieve it and it was something I could cross off on my list. It was a great feeling and of course I want to relive it again."
Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. An archive of his work can be found here, and he can be reached at Trimond@aol.com
Tags: Pawel Wolak , Yuri Foreman , Foreman-Wolak , Foreman vs Wolak