Shabbat is over and it’s nearly time for Yuri Foreman, rabbinical student, to defend his WBA super welterweight championship against the veteran Miguel Cotto at the new Yankee Stadium. The fighters have an ideal night weather-wise: a bit balmy but with a pleasant breeze.
Though Foreman, the Belarus native now fighting out of Brooklyn, N.Y., is the champ and comes into the Bronx scrap unbeaten in 29 fights (one no-decision), Cotto (34-2, 27 knockouts) will enter the ring for the 11:15 event as about a 2-1 favorite. Cotto has faced superior competition, although he was beaten badly in his last match against the fighter considered the best in the world, Manny Pacquiao. Foreman is making his first title defense after decisioning champion Daniel Santos to take the crown.
Promoter Top Rank has billed the bout as the "Stadium Slugfest," but Foreman will need all his ability as a ring general to withstand the heavy blows expected from Cotto.
To get the crowd in the mood for the battle between the Jewish Foreman and the Puerto Rican Cotto, they played "Hava Nagila" and a pulsating tune that started with "Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico." Some Israeli flags and kipot have been spotted in support of the champion, who spent some time in Israel.