Brooklyn boxer and rabbinic student Yuri Foreman says he wants a rematch with Miguel Cotto after he recovers from surgery to repair the knee injury that cost him his WBA junior middleweight championship late Saturday night and early Sunday. The NY Post reports that Foreman suffered a torn meniscus and stretched a ligament in his right knee when slipped on the wet canvass and twisted his knee in the seventh round of his championship fight with Miguel Cotto Saturday night at Yankee Stadium. The extent of the ligament damage will only be revealed during surgery.
Foreman’s wife Leyla Leidecker, who is herself a boxer, claims that referee Arthur Mercante should have ended the fight right after her husband’s injury. Instead Mercante let the fight continue, despite Foreman’s trainer throwing in the towel midway through the eight round, until 43 seconds into the ninth round when Cotto landed a punch to Foreman’s side causing the latter to fall, and Mercante declared Cotto the winner by a TKO. With only one good leg Foreman fought without his trademark speed and mobility making him a nearly stationary target for his stronger opponent, though he did win praise for continuing to fight in pain.
The NY Daily News reports “Leidecker and Mercante had a verbal confrontation in the dressing room after the fight when Mercante came in to check on Foreman. Murray Wilson, Foreman’s manager, had to calm her down before things got out of hand.” Mercante was the referee in a 2001 match where boxer Beethavean Scottland collapsed, went into a coma, and died a week later.
“I can understand why she was upset,” Mercante said. “She’s his wife. But he’s a champion and I wanted to give him a fair opportunity to defend his title. A few weeks ago, I had just the opposite situation where I stopped a fight and the wife came after me saying that I didn’t give her husband a fair chance to defend his title.”
Mercante asked Foreman several times during the match whether he wanted to continue, but Leidecker maintains that Mercante should have relied on his own judgement and ended the match.