Yuri’s on come­back trail

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - BY MIKE SIN­CLAIR

BOX­ING YURI Fore­man — the first Jewish boxer to win a world ti­tle — is making a come­back af­ter two years out of the ring.

The35-year-old­formerWBA­light-mid­dleweightcham­pi­onwill­re­turn,against an op­po­nent still to be named, at the Bar­clays Cen­tre in his home neigh­bour­hood of Brook­lyn on De­cem­ber 5.

It will be his first fight since knock­ing out Jo­vany Javier Gomez in the first round at Hol­ly­wood’s Semi­nole Hard Rock Ho­tel and Casino in 2013.

Fore­man,who­had­losthisWBA­beltto Miguel Cotto, was clos­ing in on an­other ti­tle shot when he sud­denly pulled out of a clash with Jorge Me­len­dez in June 2014 and an­nounced his re­tire­ment.

At the time he told his fans through Face­book he had “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. So from now I’m on to big­ger and bet­ter things.”

Dur­ing his time away from box­ing, Be­larus-born Fore­man, who beat Puerto Rico’s Daniel San­tos in Novem­ber 2009 to win his world ti­tle, has com­pleted his stud­ies to be­come a rabbi.

But he sees no con­flict be­tween that and fight­ing again.

“Box­ing is a very spir­i­tual sport,” he said. “We all have dif­fer­ent paths. My faith keeps me cen­tred and fo­cused.

“You­can­beany­one.You­can­bear­abbi and still be fight­ing on the big stage at Bar­clays Cen­tre.”

He added: “I’ve been work­ing hard since June and putting in a lot of hours in the gym. In terms of prepa­ra­tion, I’m al­ways try­ing to push my­self. When I get tired, I want to push my­self even harder.”

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