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Monday, May 13, 2013

Roman Greenberg Won't Be Back in the Ring

The boxing career of former heavyweight contender Roman Greenberg is over, according to a knowledgeable source. For years, fans held out hope that Greenberg, who turns 31 this week, would continue fighting after his lone career loss, but that possibility has now ended.

Greenberg was born in Moldova and grew up in Tel Aviv. After turning pro in 2001, he won his first 27 bouts. In his first 14 fights, Roman defeated only one man with a winning record, but his next 13 wins were all against opponents with marks over .500.

On August 29, 2008, Greenberg faced the toughest test of his career. Cedric Boswell sported a 27-1 record, but was 39 years old when he entered the ring against Greenberg at Center Stage in Atlanta, Georgia. After a slow first round, Boswell's faster hands began to touch Greenberg in the second. An overhand right threw Greenberg back to the ropes. Boswell then probed Roman's lax guard until he landed two looping rights that dramatically wobbled the Jewish fighter. Referee Bill Clancy quickly stepped in to wave off the fight despite Greenberg's protests. Within a flash, Roman's air of invincibility had vanished.

According to the knowledgeable source, Greenberg hasn't rediscovered the will to return to the ring since. Roman resisted every effort his former manager, Robert Waterman, made to coax him back into the sport. Greenberg's heart simply wasn't in it. In 2012, Waterman told Barry Toberman of The Jewish Chronicle, "Roman trained hard, but the problem was getting him to training."

Greenberg was one of three men- along with Dmitiry Salita and Yuri Foreman- who were responsible for the recent resurgence of Jewish boxing in the twenty-first century. Since The Jewish Boxing Blog began in 2010, no fighter has stoked the hopes of Jewish boxing fans more than Greenberg. Countless readers have written emails to The JBB hoping for some hint of his return. Those emails have tapered off as the years have passed.

Greenberg currently works as a bouncer for a Tel Aviv nightclub.

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