Jewish boxing icon Yuri Foreman announced his retirement on Monday ending a 35 fight roller-coaster career that saw him become the first Israeli world champion of all time.
In a shock Facebook post Foreman said that the decision came as the result of a bad contract.
“Dear Friends! Unknowingly I signed a very harmful contract regarding my boxing carreer,” he wrote. “I tried all possible ways to free myself from it, but nothing else I can do, than announce my retirement from boxing. So from now I’m on to bigger and better things. Much blessings!”
The decision comes in the midst of a hot comeback streak for Foreman who has won his last 4 straight fights after dramatic losses to Puerto Rican superstar Miguel Cotto at Yankee Stadium in June 2010, and, failing to fully recover from a knee injury from the Cotto fight, to Polish Pawel Wolak. His last fight was won in a stunning 1st round knockout.
Foreman was scheduled to fight Jorge Melendez on June 7th on the pay-per-view undercard of the highly anticipated Cotto-Martinez fight at Madison Square Garden.
Reached on the phone by The Algemeiner, Foreman’s promotion company, DiBella Entertainment, said that they believed the issue to be with a “manager” and that their relations with the athlete were “great.” A representative for the promoter maintained that as far as they are concerned the June 7th fight is still on and that they are currently working to get in touch with Foreman.
When the fight was first announced, promoter Lou DiBella said he saw another world championship title in the works for Foreman.
“Yuri is currently on a four-fight win streak and he is looking to show that he is still one of the elite 154 lb. fighters in the world,” he said. “This is an opportunity to not only fight in his hometown but also on the biggest stage possible, and prove to the world that he is once again ready for a world title opportunity.”
Foreman’s longtime manager restauranter Murray Wilson died in late 2010.
If the Belarus born fighter, who gained renown for his ongoing rabbinical training as well as his prowess in the ring, sticks to his word, his career statistics would total 32 wins, 2 losses, and 1 no-contest. He won 9 fights by way of knockout.
Foreman’s fans on Facebook responded to the announcement with overwhelming support and no small amount of wonderment.
“Man, I hate to hear that. I truly do. You had so much to offer, and you were a true warrior,” wrote one fan. “You need to get this fixed! You are a true hero!” said another.
Others wished Foreman well in future endeavors. “A Champion then … a Champion now … a Champion forever!” one Facebook commenter declared.