Mark E. Ortega

Foreman returns July 24

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Comebacking junior middleweight Yuri Foreman will return to action on July 24, taking on journeyman Tony Hirsch in an eight-round bout at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City. Marlon Sullivan, Hirsch’s manager, confirmed the information to RingTV on Wednesday afternoon.

This will mark Foreman’s third fight since returning to the ring following a nearly two-year layoff. He announced his retirement after losing to Pawel Wolak in March of 2011. The loss was Foreman’s second in a row, having lost his previous bout to Miguel Cotto in front of a raucous crowd at Yankee Stadium.

Foreman (30-2, 8 KOs) lost to Cotto after injuring his leg during the fight but showed tremendous heart in continuing on one leg until the fight was stopped in round nine. Cotto picked up Foreman’s WBA 154-pound title with the win.

Foreman has fought twice this year against limited opposition, and though Hirsch’s record suggests he is another hapless opponent, a look behind the numbers suggests otherwise.

Hirsch (14-5-2, 6 KOs) has served as a chief sparring partner for Andre Ward for much of the super middleweight king’s career, working out of Oakland’s King’s Gym. A loss early in Hirsch’s career quickly put him on the path of a career opponent, and he has often faced young undefeated and promising fighters.

Hirsch’s most recent loss came when he took a fight against Dmitry Chudinov on a day’s notice in December of 2011. Hirsch is at his best at 154 pounds, but weighed in at 180 pounds to Chudinov’s 178. Despite this, Hirsch gave as good as he got and found himself on the wrong side of a close majority decision that easily could have gone his way.

It was since that time that manager Marlon Sullivan took on Hirsch. Sullivan, who manages San Francisco-based junior welterweight contender Karim Mayfield, likes what he’s gotten from his fighter.

“Tony is a quality fighter who has fell victim to the politics of boxing,” Sullivan told RingTV.

“All of his losses have come in fights that he had to take last minute or fighting a house fighter. We appreciate Yuri Foreman and his team taking the fight. You will see a very prepared fighter at a weight where he can utilize his size, athleticism, and power. After this fight, the boxing world will have to take notice and give Tony a fair shot.”

Though Hirsch has fought a number of solid fighters, including 2008 U.S. Olympian Demetrius Andrade, Foreman is easily the most experienced opponent he will have stepped in against.

Hirsch will be a good litmus test to see just exactly how much Foreman has left and whether or not he will soon be ready to step things up.

 

Photo: Al Bello-Gettyimages

 

 

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