Former WBO welterweight titlist Miguel Cotto is expected to fight current WBA super welterweight champion Yuri Foreman at Madison Square Garden the day before the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade on June 12.
Cotto (34-2, 27 KOs), a Puerto Rican who represented his native country at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, has headlined three out of the last four boxing cards on the second Saturday in June at “The World’s Most Famous Arena.”
Cotto, last fought on November 14 when he relinquished his WBO crown to Manny Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KOs) by a brutal 12th round TKO.
On the undercard of the Pacquiao versus Cotto bout, Foreman (28-0, 8 KOs) defeated Daniel Santos (32-4-1-1, 23 KOs) by unanimous decision to become Israel’s first ever world boxing champion.
Foreman, 29, an aspiring rabbi who won the New York Golden Gloves in 2001, was considered as a potential opponent for Pacquiao after the WBO champion’s proposed matchup with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (40-0, 25 KOs) deteriorated earlier this month.
However, Pacquiao rejected the offer mainly because Foreman, at five feet and eleven inches, is quite tall for a welterweight.
As evidenced by his paltry knockout percentage, Foreman does not possess tremendous power in either of his fists.
Still, Foreman is a tactician in the ring and his height has posed problems for his opponents in the past.
“Foreman is a solid boxer,” said Brad Sherwood, a personal trainer at Gold’s Gym in Medford.
“He is way taller than Cotto and Cotto has been through so many wars that he is old for a 29-year-old. But, I still think Cotto will win though because he is such a powerful warrior. I would take Cotto by a stoppage in the later rounds.”
Foreman was born in Gomel, Belarus.
At age nine, Foreman immigrated with his family to Israel and it was in the Holy Land where he began to box at a local Arab gym.
“The first time I walked in, I saw the stares. In their eyes, there was a lot of hatred,” said Foreman, 29. “But, I needed to box; and boy, did they all want to box me.”
Particularly because of the pounding he received at the hands of Pacquiao, Cotto is going to “want to box” and bludgeon Foreman.
Foreman’s vast size advantage and relatively cautious style will keep him in the fight.
Nevertheless, expect Cotto to brawl his way to a decisive knockout victory over Foreman when the two finally meet in Gotham.