Murray Wilson, Yuri Foreman's Manager, Dies of Heart Attack
Former WBA junior middleweight champion Yuri Foreman of Brooklyn has confirmed to FanHouse that his co-manager,Murray Wilson, owner of popular restaurants in the midtown Manhattan area, has died of an apparent heart attack.
"I found out about two hours ago, or two and a half hours ago at about 7 p.m. I was told that he had a heart attack. I was called by a door man, actually, from one of Murray's places. I guess that I'm OK, but it really sucks," said Foreman of Wilson, who was 72 and became interested in Foreman after reading about him in a New York Times article in 2004.
"You know, honestly, right now, he was my father. You know? He was not a manger, you know?" said Foreman. "He was my father. He treated me like I was his son. He really was my dad, you know. Right now, I don't know even know what to do or what's going to be next."
BoxingScene.com reported that Foreman had just returned to the gym on Monday, marking the first training day since he was dethroned in June's ninth-round technical knockout loss to Miguel Cotto after suffering a severe knee injury during the first ever fight at the New York Yankees' new stadium.
"Yuri called us about half an hour after it happened. That was really sad. We loved Murray. He's a wonderful guy. A real man, and he will be missed. What else is there to say? He was a really good, good friend," said Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum.
"We were working on allowing Yuri to get his start back into the gym this week," said Arum. "And then, we were not going to rush him but to just see how he was progressing."
Wilson saw to it that Foreman had successful reconstructive surgery, this leading to his spending the summer rehabilitating his knee. Studying to be a rabbi, Foreman became the first Israeli world champion when he dethroned Puerto Rico's Daniel Santos in November.
"I found him through The New York Times. They had an article that said he could potentially be a Jewish champion. I'm interested in all things Jewish, so I called Bruce Silverglade at Gleason's Gym," Wilson told Moment Magazine earlier this year.
"We got together with Yuri, and we made a deal. I don't have enough good adjectives to describe him," said Wilson. "He's the nicest kid I've ever run across. He's respectful, humble, honest, and he'll stay that way."