Boxing Champion Yuri Foremanís Unusual Story on ESPNís E:60

ESPN's award-winning primetime newsmagazine E:60 will tell the unusual story of boxing champion Yuri Foreman in the episode airing Tuesday, May 4, at 7 p.m. ET.

It's an old story, kind of. A penniless immigrant finds his way to America, wins fame and fortune in the boxing ring and marries a model. But as E:60ís Jeremy Schaap reports, this is a story with a twist..

Foreman isn't the typical immigrant boxer. He's a Belarusian Jew and is studying to be an orthodox rabbi. After Foreman won the WBA super welterweight title last November against heavily favored Daniel Santos, he said his faith, as much as his fists, was the determining factor.

"I believe that, looking back, I needed to find Judaism in order to become a world champion," Foreman said.

Foreman was born in Gomel, Belarus, then in the Soviet Union, and began cultivating his boxing skills at age 7. His family immigrated to Israel when he was 10. Growing up in a poor neighborhood in Haifa, Foreman believed boxing was his only way out of poverty. In 1999, he moved to Brooklyn to pursue his dream of becoming a professional boxer. There, he met a local rabbi who pushed him to make a deeper connection with his religion. Three years ago, Foreman decided to begin classes to become a rabbi.

Undefeated in 28 fights, Foreman says his Jewish studies make him more focused in the ring. He defends his title against Miguel Cotto on June 5 at Yankee Stadium.

ESPNís E:60, which launched in October 2007, combines investigative reporting, in-depth profiles of intriguing sports personalities and features on emerging star athletes. These stories are presented in a fresh and innovative format that incorporates producer/correspondent meetings.

Yuri Foreman KOs Jimmy Kimmel's Audience!

HOLLYWOOD, CALIF. (April 30, 2010) -- Undefeated World Boxing Association (WBA) super welterweight champion and future rabbi YURI FOREMAN made his U.S. network television debut on ABCís Jimmy Kimmel Live! which aired at 12:05 a.m. ET/PT this morning. After mining gold with his good humor during his segment, Foreman grabbed a few hours sleep and is now jetting back to Brooklyn on a 6 a.m. PT flight to resume training for his first title defense, against three-time world champion and the pride or Puerto Rico Miguel Cotto. Cotto vs. Foreman will headline ďStadium SlugfestĒ -- the inaugural brawl at Yankee Stadium, Saturday, June 5. It will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:15 p.m. ET / 7:15 p.m. PT.

Foreman (28-0, 8 KOs), a 29-year-old from Brooklyn, NY, became the first orthodox Jew to win a world championship in nearly 75 years. Born in Gomel, Belarus, and raised in Israel, Foreman eventually emigrated to Brooklyn. The 2001 New York Golden Gloves Champion turned pro in 2002 and began studying to become a rabbi three years ago. Foreman knocked down defending champion Daniel Santos in the final round of their November 2009 rumble in Las Vegas (ironically on the undercard of Pacquiao-Cotto) en route to a decisive and unanimous decision victory while becoming Israelís first world champion fighter.

Cotto (34-2, 27 KOs), from Caguas, Puerto Rico, has held a world title every year since 2004 and will be looking to extend that streak with his challenge of Foreman. Puerto Ricoís most exciting fighter, Cotto held the World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior welterweight crown from 2004-2006, successfully defending it six times before vacating it to capture the World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight title at the end of 2006,

a title he held for nearly as long. He won his second welterweight title in February 2009, knocking out Michael Jennings in the fifth round to become the WBO welterweight champion. He lost the title in his second defense, last November, to Manny Pacquiao. Notable scalps on Cottoís belt include Sugar Shane Mosley, Zab Judah, Joshua Clottey, Paulie Malinaggi, and Demarcus Corley.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Miguel Cotto Promotions and Yankee Stadium, remaining tickets to Cotto vs. Foreman, priced at $400, $300, $200, $100, $75 and $50, can be purchased at and all Ticketmaster outlets. To charge by phone, 877-469-9849 or Tickemaster TTY 800-943-4327. For more information on Cotto vs. Foreman, go to

Article posted on 03.05.2010

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