NEW YORK (JTA) — A game but limping Yuri Foreman dropped his first title defense when the referee stopped the contest 42 seconds into the ninth round against Miguel Cotto at Yankee Stadium.
Foreman, a rabbinical student from Brooklyn, N.Y., was hit with a right hand to the body and slipped as he had several times earlier in the bout against the hard-punching Cotto, who became a four-time world champion by taking away Foreman’s World Boxing Association super-welterweight crown.
The first slip had occurred in the seventh round, when Foreman’s leg buckled under him in his own corner. From that point on he appeared to be in pain but continued to fight. A towel thrown into the ring, apparently by Foreman’s corner in a bid to stop the fight, was disallowed by referee Arthur Mercante Jr. in the eighth round.
"I’m a world champion — now a former world champion — and you don’t just quit," Foreman said in the ring after the fight. "A world champion needs to fight."
Cotto, now 35-2 with 28 knockouts, was the aggressor throughout the fight and was well ahead on all three scorecards when the bout was stopped. Foreman lost his first fight in his 30th bout.
A raucous pro-Cotto crowd of 20,273 witnessed the fight.