Defying All The Odds: Yuri Foreman
By Jason Petock, DoghouseBoxing (Nov 25, 2009)  
Current reigning WBA Light Middleweight Champion, Yuri Foreman 28-0 (8), of Brooklyn, New York by way of Gomel, Belarus, is a compelling and charismatic figure in the world of boxing who continues to defy not only his critics but also the misconceptions and generalizations that often surround what a professional fighter must be and how he must behave. The public tends to sometimes place labels and certain characteristics on what they perceive as a boxer's makeup or disposition. Foreman thinks outside of the box, not only in the ring but also in his personal life. Dedicating his life to becoming a rabbi as well as a boxer, he studies the Talmud and Jewish Mysticism daily, completes his boxing regimen and training, and attends rabbinical classes at the IYYUN Institute in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Foreman is a married man who lives a life full of dedication to his wife Leyla Leidecker, boxing, and his devotion to his religion. Having come from such a tough background, Yuri Foreman's disposition is not what one would typically expect, as his early beginnings were ones of tremendous hardship and turmoil. Yet he came out of the fog victoriously, and accomplished amazing things during his boxing career, as he continues on as a Champion and example to everyone what it truly means to make history as a Jewish fighter.

Drive and determination have always been a part of Yuri Foreman and what he represents. As an amateur fighter he won the New York Golden Gloves, and compiled an extremely impressive record of 75-5. He turned pro in 2002, and won his first two bouts by TKO victory, his first against Israel Felix 1-3-3, a fighter who subsequently retired two years after his loss to Foreman, and second against Tommy Attardo 10-14-1 (2), a boxer who had far more experience than Yuri at the time of his defeat. Foreman has gone on to beat every fighter he has faced as a pro, leading him up to his sensational performance this year when he surprised everyone, (except for those who knew of his will and fortitude), and silenced his critics once more as he beat Daniel Santos 32-4-1 (23), and proved to the world that he is a Champion and has far more to do in boxing as a viable asset to the sport and not merely an underdog or overlooked fighter.

Being of Jewish decent and a Champion is an important aspect of Yuri Foreman the fighter, and Yuri Foreman the man. He has made history recently and once again put Brooklyn, New York on the map once more for all the boxing world to see. There is a deep historically significant aspect to his accomplishments and it is free of all the pretense and that is sometimes laden in a boxer's story, whether that fighter wants his life to be associated with such shallowness or not. His sensationalism is in that he is of sensational character and accomplishment. Yuri Foreman is a Champion of the people and as he continues in his career to only further silence his critics, box like a professional and a skilled athlete, and become a rabbi, this dynamic and amazing fighter will only show us more of what the human spirit can do when driven by faith, perseverance and a powerful belief in oneself that can never be destroyed.

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