Yuri Foreman has been promised a world title fight this year by top American promoter Bob Arum as a result of his convincing points victory over Saul Roman.
The unbeaten Jewish light-welterweight took the decision by scores of 97-93, 98-92, 98-92 in a successful first defence of his North American Boxing Federation title at the Aviator Sports Arena in Brooklyn.
The speed of 27-year-old Belarus-born Foreman, who lives in Brooklyn and was fighting there for the first time in his professional career, proved decisive against his Mexican opponent, who lost for the fifth time in 33 fights.
Roman, with 24 of his 28 victories inside the distance and a victory over world middleweight title challenger Kassim Ouma in his previous outing, went into the fight with a reputation as a big puncher but he rarely troubled Foreman in what had been seen as the toughest test so far for the Jewish contender.
“I’m ready to fight world class fighters,” said Foreman, who is not concerned which of the four major versions of the world light-middleweight title he lands a shot at.
The rival champions are Vernon Forrest (WBC), Joachim Alcine (WBA), Verno Phillips (IBF) and Sergiy Dzinziruk (WBO).
As well as chasing a world title, Foreman is also studying to become a rabbi.
“When I go to the gym, I’m training my physical self. With the rabbi, I’m training my spiritual muscles,” he said.
Foreman’s studies will take at least three years before he can be ordained as a rabbi and he aims to become a world champion much quicker than that after extending his 100 per cent professional record to 25 straight victories.