Here’s why Yuri Foreman fight against Jimmy Williams didn’t take place
SUNDAY EVENING UPDATE: Yuri Foreman and his wife/manager Shoshana completed the drive from Louisville to Brooklyn, and went right for COVID tests.
“We just got back to Brooklyn, I took Yuri to the office I work at,” Shoshana shared. “Yuri’s rapid came up positive, mine was negative, but I sent a PCR. So, we will be in quarantine. His breathing is fine, no cough at all. It seems pretty mild so far. I’m the one coughing now, it started in the car.”
Of course, they do wonder a bit how they contracted the virus.
“Well, our flight was in the morning, so it may have been from there,” Shoshana said.
Yes, she knows that research shows that symptoms appear two or more days after exposure. But, we agreed, it’s clear that we still don’t know so much about the virus, so who really knows? “We haven’t been social at ALL.The Jewish holiday (Purim) we stayed inside and wouldn’t go around ANYONE. We just keep to ourselves, work, go home, rest. It was a PACKED flight with absolutely no social distancing. Because he was so run down for weigh-in, it may have been opportunistically more aggressive. No food and minimal water is a recipe for disaster with our immune systems.”
Yuri first noticed symptoms after the weigh, she said.
“I guess it doesn’t matter now,” Shoshana said. “At this point we know (he is positive and to be safe I will assume I am), we didn’t get on a plane once it got suspicious, and now we are home safe.”
Yuri Foreman was to fight Jimmy Williams in a junior middleweight battle Saturday night in Kentucky. The fight didn’t come off, though, as Foreman fell ill on Friday, and decided to postpone the battle with Williams.
The Brooklyn-based boxer, looking to make a run at a title after almost four years away from the ring, traveled to Kentucky Thursday morning with his wife/manager, Shoshana Foreman.
On Friday afternoon, the Future Promotions weigh-in happened. Williams, coming in with a 16-5-2 mark, made weight. Foreman, holding a 35-3 record, was 150. Things were still on track for the contest to play out.
“Yuri did the weigh-in at 1 PM,” Shoshana said. “He started drinking electrolyte water immediately after. We got back to the hotel and I started him on his meal plan 30 minutes after he drank. He was looking and feeling much better right before he went to sleep, but his symptoms developed in the middle of the night. His coach (Ilya Mesischev) took one look at him Saturday morning and said that he wasn’t fighting,” she said.
The Foremans adhere to the ritual of Shabbos, Judaism’s day of rest which begins at sunset Friday and continues to sunset Saturday. Work activities are shunned, and that created a vacuum, of information. Word spread that Foreman had pulled out but the fighter and his wife weren’t taking calls from reporters, or putting out a release which explained in depth why the boxer wouldn’t glove up versus Williams.
Shoshana filled in the blanks for BLH. “I cancelled our flights after Shabbos, arranged a car rental, we slept through the night and I’m driving him home to keep everyone safe,” she said via text on Sunday afternoon. “Yuri was very disappointed with a Russian/Israeli news source’s article, and we want to set the record straight and the public should know that we were making the most responsible and safe decision for all involved.”
Of course, people wonder…what were the symptoms that Foreman, who proudly reps the famed and fabled Gleason’s Gym, experienced? “Malaise, muscle aches, headache, eye pain with photophobia (light sensitivity, an intolerance of light),” Shoshana explained. “While he was sleeping (Friday into Saturday), he experienced sweats and chills. He did not have a fever, cough or runny nose. We walked to an urgent care not terribly far from the hotel on the Sabbath, but they were not taking patients. Saturday night I cancelled our flight and rented a car. I thought if we were exposed to COVID on the plane, G-d forbid, it might be too early to detect, so I wanted to take precautions. We are driving back, I have a thermometer with me and have been monitoring my own temperature because after we left I started feeling warm. My temperature is rising, but it is not technically a fever. We will both be tested this evening in Brooklyn and provide an update.”
The fighter took to social media and shed more light on the disappointing circumstances.
“I want to set the record straight after seeing the vague/detail-less articles released since last night in regard to my having to re-schedule my fight,” Yuri wrote on Sunday afternoon.
“I am not putting any blame on journalists, as neither my manager or myself were reaching out to the press or giving interviews on the Sabbath. I have never pulled out from a fight before. I am in my 20th year as a professional boxer, one of the most vital lessons I’ve learned is that any time you step into the ring, you are literally risking your health and your life. From Friday night all through Saturday, I felt ill and was not in any condition to perform safely. We are all taking risks stepping out into the world during this pandemic. Sometimes taking all the precautions isn’t enough. I have invested two months of hard work in my preparation for this fight. Shoshana, who is my wife and manager, went above and beyond, was more than a manager, but served as my promoter and financial backer for my opponent’s expenses, has MUCH invested in this fight, and in me. She made this fight happen. Also, my coach, Ilya, invested lots of his time and energy to get me into tip top shape. On top of it all, he travelled by car from Brooklyn with a team to support me.”
Foreman, an ordained rabbi, seems to be in a decent head space, seeing the bigger picture in play.
“There are always opportunities to find strength and make the responsible decisions for the greater good of all involved, even if it isn’t immediately apparent. What’s next? Shoshana opted to rent a car and drive home to take precautions and protect the public. With G-d’s help, after making a complete recovery I will be back to training and rebuild myself. Thank you for understanding and for your love and support.”