Park Slope’s boxing rabbi got an early Hanukkah gift on Saturday.
Former world super welterweight champion Yuri Foreman earned a unanimous decision victory — 77–75 on all three scorecards — over Lenwood Dozier in his first fight in more than two years at Barclays Center on Dec. 5. He left the sport after a series of injuries and became an Orthodox rabbi during his hiatus.
Foreman chose to get back between the ropes after missing his first love of boxing, and now he is looking to make another run at a title. The 35-year-old said a knee injury kept him from performing at 100 percent when he lost the belt to Miguel Cotto in 2010 — now he wants to see what he has left.
“I miss what I do,” Foreman said. “I missed the whole process, the whole routine. I want to get another crack at the title.”
Foreman felt ring rust early, and a few heavy Dozier shots caught him flush, but Foreman shed the cobwebs in the later rounds and landed enough hits to take home the victory. Foreman is happy to be back.
“I liked the whole process, butterflies and all that,” he said. “It was a good feeling to experience again.”
Heather Hardy scored a unanimous 80–72, 80–72, 79–73 victory over Noemi Bosques after waiting more than seven hours to get into the ring. The rematch of a fight Hardy won by split decision back in May was a swing bout originally scheduled fourth but which didn’t go on until after the main event because of time constraints. Hardy had to adjust.
“I was so nervous, because I was tired,” she said. “I was falling a sleep in the dressing room.”
Hardy (15–0–1) showed no ill effects once she got between the ropes. The Gerritsen Beach native was aggressive and accurate and showed a little more pop throughout the eight rounds. Hardy was pleased with her elusiveness — it shows how much she continues to grow as fighter, she said.
“No matter how many times I say it — man these girls don’t believe it — I’m getting better,” Hardy said.
Will Rosinsky couldn’t fully size up Joe Smith Jr. The Crown Heights firefighter did not build off a strong start and lost a unanimous decision, 98–92, 97–93, 96–94, to the bigger and harder-hitting opponent in a light heavyweight bout.
“His size played a role in the later rounds,” the 5-foot-8 Rosinsky said. “He’s a big guy, a tough guy. He had a lot of little elbows, hitting right at the belt line, which was smart. The refs didn’t catch it.”
Rosinsky (10–3, 10 knockouts) won the first two rounds by out-boxing the lanky, 6-foot Smith. He was aggressive, attacked the body, and landed some well-timed combinations.
“The plan the whole time was to pretty much out-box him,” Rosinsky said.
The fight changed after Smith (20–1, 16 knockouts) landed a sharp right in the fourth round. Smith began connecting with numerous hard shots. A solid right in the fifth opened up a deep cut over Rosinsky’s left eye that hampered him the rest of the bout.
“When the blood goes in your eye, it kind of blurs your vision,” he said. “I kept wiping it to get it out of my eye.”
The first heavyweight title fight ever at Barclays Center will take place on Jan. 16. American Deontay Widler, who wants to unify the division, will put his World Boxing Commission belt on the line against a to-be-determined opponent. It will also be the undefeated Wilder’s first bout in Brooklyn, and he can’t wait to show off his talents in front of Kings County fans.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Wilder said. “A lot of things happened in my career at the right time. It’s time. This is the next step for me in my career.”