Former WBA super welterweight champion Yuri Foreman, who lost the title to Miguel Cotto by a ninth-round TKO Saturday night at Yankee Stadium, is scheduled to undergo an examination on his injured right knee Monday, according to a spokesman for Top Rank Promotions. Foreman was wearing a brace on his right knee when he slipped on the wet canvas in the seventh round and wrenched it.
Foreman's knee gave way when he slipped for a second time in the seventh round, and it buckled under him in the eighth round just before trainer Joe Grier momentarily stopped the fight by throwing a towel in the ring. Referee Arthur Mercante Jr., who said water on the canvas made for a dangerous situation, ordered the bout to continue after Foreman said he wanted to keep fighting. It ended when Cotto scored a knockdown with a body punch 42 seconds into the ninth round.
After the fight, Foreman said he originally injured his right knee as a youth living in Israel, but he never had it examined because his family had no health insurance. Even after he came to America to begin a successful amateur career, Foreman said he didn't have the money to get his knee examined or fixed. He was 28-0 as a pro before losing to Cotto.
For the first six rounds, Foreman danced and moved around the ring with his customary speed and agility even though he was losing the fight convincingly on all three scorecards. Through six rounds, judges Steve Weisfeld and Donald Ackerman had Cotto ahead, 59-55, and judge Tony Paolillo had Cotto leading, 58-56, the same as the Newsday card.
But when Foreman tried to plant his right leg early in the seventh, it went out from under him on the wet canvas in Cotto's corner, causing the awkward fall in which he badly twisted his right knee. He got up limping and later said he was feeling "sharp pain."
Mercante worried about the condition of the ring before the bout. When he inspected the ring at 4:30 in the afternoon, Mercante noticed freshly painted commercial logos on the canvas inside the ropes.
"They should stop putting logos in the ring, in my opinion," Mercante told Newsday. "When logos get wet, it's slippery. It's a dangerous site. I preached before the fight to wipe up the water."
Mercante suggested that logos should be confined to the ring apron, and he also noted that, in London, fighters hold their head over a bucket when they are sprayed with water to reduce spillage on the canvas. It was a hot, humid night in the Bronx, and Cotto's corner drenched him between rounds.
"Cotto's corner had a lot of water," Mercante said. "It has to be addressed. That was where [Foreman] slipped."
The injury deprived Foreman of the chance to try and rally in the second half of the bout and, ultimately, cost his title. Today, he should find out how much more it costs him in terms of possible surgery and time off to recover.
In the meantime, his bout with Cotto always will be remembered as the first main event in new Yankee Stadium. To commemorate the occasion of the return of boxing to Yankee Stadium after an absence of 34 years, the Baseball Hall of Fame requested mementos from each fighter. Cotto signed his boots, and Foreman did the same with his gloves before they were shipped to Cooperstown.