By Jeff Sorby: 32-year-old former WBA World light middleweight champion Yuri Foreman (28-2, 8 KO’s) will finally be returning to the ring on January 23rd against an opponent still to be determined at the BB King Blues Club & Grill in New York, New York.
Foreman hasn’t fought since being stopped in the 6th round nearly two years ago by Pawel Wolak in March 2011. Foreman has lost his last two fights, as he was beaten by Miguel Cotto by a 9th round TKO in June of 2010 in losing his World Boxing Association 154 pound title.
It’s unclear what Foreman hopes to accomplish in the division. He was pretty well exposed by Cotto and Wolak, and there’s a blueprint out on how to beat him now. Foreman doesn’t seem to handle pressure very well as we saw in his losses to Cotto and Wolak, and you’d have to figure that any halfway decent junior middleweight is going to follow that strategy to walk him down like they did to beat him.
Foreman’s lack of power is going to be a problem for him as he tries to move up the ranks to make a title run. He’s probably good enough to still beat a lot of the fighters in the division, but if you put him in with the likes of Cornelius Bundrage, Austin Trout or Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Foreman will struggle. His only real chance of picking up a title is if he can be steered towards a fight with WBO junior middleweight champion Zaurbek Baysangurov, who is a vulnerable champion with less than impressive power and skills.
If Foreman can get a shot against him he’d have a decent chance of beating him, and then maybe holding down the title for a little while against the contenders. However, Baysangurov likely won’t remain the World Boxing Organization champion for too much longer because he’s got #1 WBO Vanes Martirosyan and #2 Keith Thurman breathing down his neck and I think either one of them will beat Baysangurov. Foreman wouldn’t stand a chance against Thurman or Martirosyan.