There is no doubt in my mind I am one of the luckiest photographers in the world; for that matter, I am probably one of the luckiest people in the world. As a contributing photographer for Sports Illustrated for several decades, I’ve had an opportunity to photograph Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, George Foreman, Mike Tyson, and my god the list just goes on and on and on. Four years ago I started to fulfill a dream of doing a full-length boxing documentary. The name of that documentary is “In This Corner.” It features five protagonists. The main protagonist is Yuri Foreman. Foreman was born in Belle rousse, moved to Israel, and he now resides in Brooklyn. All of the boxers, plus hundreds more that I did not name, are all great in their own right. Yuri Foreman out of all of them is the hardest working; most dedicated human being I have ever met. He has fought his way from absolute poverty to last Saturday night, doing something that very few people believed he could actually do. He won the WBA Junior Middle Weight Championship of the world (154). All the odds were against him. Many of the definitive experts believed that he had no chance, but in spite of the odds, in spite of the nay-sayers, he prevailed. They now call him, “the lion from Zion.” I emailed Yuri congratulations. He was gracious enough to email me back “Joe we did it!” I wrote him back and said, “No, Yuri. You did it. You did it alone. It takes an extremely special person to step through those ropes and put it all on the line. Very few have the courage to do it and fewer yet become champion of the world.” I am proud to be called a friend of Yuri Foreman.
First of all, congratulations on the stunning pictures. The black and white of Foreman is superb.I just watched the fight against Santos for the fourth time and, I have to say, I have such admiration and respect for this young boxer.He has such a distinctive style, such finesse and fitness, such quickness and intelligence. He is not about power, per se; his offense is a fruit of a versatile and on-point defense. And yet, when the opponent misses, he comes in with killer instinct. With Santos he really showed that he is a puncher. He has really stepped up his game.I am so inspired by his story and hard work.It really shows that his focus is spiritually derived and yet he retains a raw, physical intensity that he must carry from way back, from his childhood even.Bravo Yuri. A well-balanced, refreshing combination.