Many friends and journalists who I see in Gleason’s Gym often ask me for my opinion about the upcoming fight between Miguel Cotto and my former boxer, Yuri Foreman. Everybody is surprised when I say that it will be an easy fight for Yuri unless Cotto makes the right changes to his team. At this point, Cotto needs a coach who understands the finer points of the Russian style of boxing.
Let’s ask ourselves, “Who is Yuri Foreman?” Coach Michael Kozlowski made him into a boxing machine much like the Russian gun engineer, Mikhail Kalashnikov, who invented the “AK 47” – a gun that works in anyone’s hands. Similarly, Russian coach Michael (Mikhail) Kozlowski developed Yuri Foreman’s boxing style to operate the same way no matter which coach works his corner – from the great Emanuel Steward to a new coach stepping into the ring for the first time. Foreman’s style will be enough to beat a faded Cotto…
The way I see this fight is that Cotto will shadow box for a minimum of four rounds while Foreman scores points like a good student of amateur boxing. After the fourth round (when the no contest rule ends), Foreman will look for a way to get the fight stopped either by a headbutt or another “accident.” I think the only thing Foreman has learned from his American coaches is dirty fighting, as seen in his fight against Daniel Santos. The other way for Foreman to beat Cotto is by the footwork that I spent many years teaching him, and the fight will go the distance.
Even though Cotto is younger, Foreman is much fresher psychologically, since Cotto has done a psychological marathon against tough fighters. In this time, Yuri Foreman fought nothing but a string of “opponents” while looking for a way to become Jewish so Bob Arum would sign him. This was a relatively simple task, since the only ones who knew that Yuri Foreman is not Jewish are his close relatives who live far away from America and his coach, Michael Kozlowski, who Yuri betrayed once he started making money in professional boxing.
Yuri Foreman may have betrayed his Russian coach but luckily he did not betray his Russian style of boxing which ultimately made him a world champion. Foreman claims in all of his interviews that his American coaches made him a into a world champion. Meanwhile, his “coaches” can’t even understand how Foreman wins with this style. Foreman only wins because opponents’ coaches don’t understand this style either…
I’m sure Foreman’s style will be a big mystery to the coaches of Miguel Cotto too. Cotto will be really confused in the early rounds of the fight. If he does not catch Yuri with a lucky punch, he will spend the fight shadow boxing.
We need to be realistic. Professional boxing is not as tough as it used to be. Yuri Foreman never had to deal with any of the great champions like Felix “Tito” Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya or Fernando Vargas.
Miguel Cotto is not the great champion he was before. I think Bob Arum understands this too and has started to see a fresh money maker in Yuri’s future – a Jewish champion! The Judaism of Yuri Foreman is a big mystery to me. I lived in Israel for many years, and I know the difference between a Jew and a “goy” (non-Jew). In Israel, the Russian boy, Yuri Kuzmin, became Russian Yuri Foreman. In Israel, you can switch your name, but not your roots. He remained Russian did not become Jewish. But America is an amazing country: one day you are a “goy” the next day you are Jewish. It is like Don King says, “Only in America!!!”
Now I understand why Yuri Foreman’s girlfriend (who later became his wife) told me many years ago that I am a great coach, but I don’t understand “show business.” It is clear to me now that she definitely understands show business, because I heard that she became jewish too.
The only problem Cotto has is psychological. Not because he will be nervous about fighting Foreman. His problems will begin in the ring once he faces Yuri Foreman’s movement. Cotto is not fresh like before when he could switch strategies during the fight. If Cotto doesn’t catch Yuri Foreman with a lucky punch, he’ll spend the fight shadow boxing and wrestling until one of them gets cut or the fight ends. I won’t be surprised if Yuri drops Cotto like he did to Daniel Santos…
I definitely want Miguel Cotto to beat Yuri Foreman by knockout. In my opinion, traitors should be punished. And I definitely want to help Cotto prepare for this fight, because I am the only one with a team of boxers where three of them are the exact STYLE and size of Yuri Foreman. It is now in the hands of Miguel Cotto to make a choice about who can best prepare him for his next win.