(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Former junior middleweight boxing champion and newly ordained Orthodox rabbi Yuri Foreman ended his two-year hiatus from the ring on Saturday night, pulling out a close, but unanimous, eight-round decision over Lenwood Dozier at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
All three judges saw it 77-75 for Foreman, now 33-2 with 9 KOs; Dozier fell to 9-10-1, with four stops.
The fight was a typical Foreman affair, with the Belarus- born, Israel-raised pugilist putting enough points on the board to notch the win, though not in spectacular fashion.
And though Dozier scored with the biggest shot of the fight when he rocked Foreman in the opening round, he only fought in spurts, with his lack of urgency costing him on the final scorecards.
According to ESPN, Foreman became the first Orthodox Jew to win a world title in over 70 years when he beat Daniel Santos in 2009. After losing to Miguel Cotto at Yankee Stadium in 2010 and sustaining a series of injuries, he quit the sport in 2013.
“Coming back is a great feeling for me, especially to be coming back as a rabbi,” Foreman told Newsday last week. “For my observant friends, the fight starts early so for those who live a little distance from Barclays Center, you should start walking early and then take a train. I will be fighting after sundown, so it will all be kosher.”
During his hiatus, Foreman was ordained as a rabbi by Dovber Pinson, a Brooklyn- based Chabad rabbi.
“I live in Park Slope, it’s a 10-minute walk from the Barclays Center,” said Foreman, who walked to the fight. “I feel great, I’m 35. I don’t consider 35 any significance in terms of getting old. I have my trainer.
Without his consent I would not be returning. He believes in me and I believe in myself.”
“Boxing is a very spiritual sport. We all have different paths. My faith keeps me centered and focused. You can be anyone. You can be a rabbi and still be fighting on the big stage at Barclays Center,” Foreman said in a press release.
In the evening’s main event, WBA “regular” middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs (31 -1, 28 KOs) gave former WBO 160lb champion Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (32-1-1, 23 KOs) the first loss of his career in stopping him in the 1st round of their heavily hyped “Battle of Brooklyn” clash on Showtime.JTA and Newsday contributed to this report.