It is 75 years since Claude Rains as “The Invisible Man” stayed out of harm’s way as no one was able to catch what they could not see. Four years later, 1937, a guy named Lamont Cranston developed “the power to cloud men’s minds” and as the Shadow took being an unseen entity a step farther by handing out some serious whippings to all those that crossed his path. Time marches on and on. It is now a new century and along comes a new breed of unseen untouchable in the person of Yuri Foreman, a young man with a dual purpose in life. He is training to be a Rabbi and a prizefighter at the same time. There are those who cannot see a person of the cloth and someone of the fistic persuasion in the same body.
On Thursday night a tough Mexican power-puncher, Saul Roman who was victorious in 28 of his previous 32 fights, and had knocked out 24 of his opponents journeyed to the Aviators Sports Arena at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn and was introduced to Foreman by referee Ed Claudio. Roman’s problem was a lot simpler than not being able to see a Rabbi and a prizefighter in the same body. He was unable to see, or at least, locate Foreman the entire evening. Yuri Foreman, who was defending his North American Boxing Federation Light-Middleweight Championship, was too fast, too clever and too talented for Roman.
In pursuit of his twin dreams, Foreman was determined to teach Roman a lesson or two. What Roman learned in this contest was that you can’t hit what you can’t see. It was Foreman’s ring as he danced, glided and befuddled his frustrated but always trying opponent. In the second round Yuri nailed Roman with a right to the head that opened a deep gash over his left eye that bled throughout the entire fight. It was pure artistry as Yuri moved inside, outside, to Roman’s left, then to his right, never in a predictable pattern. In desperation, Roman continued throwing punches that would fall short of its target or be blocked by the Whirling Dervish in front of him, behind him, to this side of him, to that side of him. Foreman, with an unblemished record of 25 consecutive wins, was nowhere and he was everywhere. Everywhere but on the ropes which was where the outmaneuvered Mexican was hoping to corner him and all the while Foreman, in turn, was peppering him with an array of precision punches.
It was becoming obvious that as hard as Saul Roman tried, he didn’t have a prayer. When it came to prayers, Yuri Foreman seems to have cornered the market. After all, that was his first line of business. His natural talent, though, precludes any reliance upon prayer as the cards of the three judges confirmed with their scores of 97-93, 98-92 and 98-92, all in Foreman’s favor. Many in the arena had it scored a complete shutout for the Rabbi-in-training.
The Invisible Man, the Shadow and Yuri Foreman; they all had one thing in common. You had to not see them to believe in them.