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January 13, 2017 4:17 pm

Jewish Ex-World Champion Boxer Yuri Foreman on Friday Night Title Showdown: I Won’t Be in Rabbi Mode, I’ll Be All Fighter

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

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Former world champion boxer and ordained Orthodox Rabbi Yuri Foreman in a 2008 picture. Photo: Adam Ritter via Wikimedia Commons.

Former world champion boxer and ordained Orthodox Rabbi Yuri Foreman in a 2008 picture. Photo: Adam Ritter via Wikimedia Commons.

Former world champion boxer and ordained Orthodox Rabbi Yuri Foreman will be seeking to regain the junior middleweight title on Friday night when he takes on Erislandy Lara in Miami.

Foreman’s showdown at Hialeah Park Racing and Casino with the 33-year-old Cuban defector will mark the first time he has fought on Shabbat during his career, ESPN reported.

“Being a rabbi, it is sometimes very interesting to mix that with fighting, but Friday night I won’t be in rabbi mode,” Foreman, 36, said at a pre-match press conference earlier this week. I will be all fighter. We are going to show skills and heart and power on Friday night.”

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“I came here to win and I feel very positive about this,” the Belarus-born Israeli Jew who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn stated. “Erislandy Lara is a great fighter, but me being from the Soviet Union, I’m very familiar with Cuban boxing and have quite a bit of experience with their style, so I’m looking forward to stepping in and showcasing my talents and skills.”

Friday’s fight is scheduled for 9 p.m. and will be televised on Spike.

In an interview with The Algemeiner last year, Foreman talked about his return to boxing after a two-year hiatus during which he studied to become a rabbi under the tutelage of DovBer Pinson, a Chabad rabbi based in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.

“Anything you do or anything you love to do, once in a while it’s good to take a break,” he said. “So, I retired for two years, but then realized that I miss it.”

“I love what I do, I’m good at it and I just felt like I needed to do some more,” he continued.

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  • meirmoses

    What’s your point? Are you mocking him for his ashkenazi pronunciation that millions of European Jews have used over the ages? I’m not even frum and can’t believe this would be the only response you have.

  • YW

    What “Orthodox” Rav gave Foreman a heter to work as a professional fighter on Shabbos????

    Many with talent in various performing arts and competitive sports have given up professions that are not “Shabbos friendly,” or greatly curtailed their careers in these fields to only work in a manner that they can remain in compliance with halachah. And there are a few, like Dudu Fisher, whose talents are so prized by the velt, that he managed to get a great gig, as Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables,” and was actually allowed to miss Shabbos performances. I totally do not “get” that Foreman is doing this and is still considered “Orthodox.”

    But of course I am not a rabbi, so maybe there is something I do not know about the permissibility of this kind of thing on Shabbos?

    PS: Did he win?

  • watsa46

    Goof luck.

  • bigrobtheactor

    Nu?

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