Salita gets another title bout for IBA belt

"Star of David" to face “Mighty” Mike Anchondo on December 16 at the Roseland Ballroom in Time Square, New York City.

By JERUSALEM POST SPORTS STAFF
October 29, 2010 05:18
3 minute read.
DMITRIY SALITA (left) poses with legendary trainer

Salita 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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Slowly, but surely, the “Star of David” is rising up off the mat.

On the heels of an impressive performance against Franklin Gonzalez in his first self-promoted fight in September, Dmitriy Salita announced this week that he will be facing “Mighty” Mike Anchondo (30-3) on December 16 at the Roseland Ballroom in Time Square, New York City, for the IBA Welterweight World Title.

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This fight will be the second for Salita (31-1-1, 16 KO) since a 2009 first-round defeat to Amir Khan for the WBA light-welterweight belt in Newcastle, England, and the 28-year-old Orthodox Jewish pugilist is well aware of how fortunate he is to get another crack at a belt, albeit in a less-prestigious association.

“I really could have gone the other way after my fight with Amir, especially with the way my critics were bashing me,” Salita told The Jerusalem Post this week.

“I chose to re-dedicate myself to my trade and re-commit myself to becoming a champion.

Don’t forget, I have been defeated only one time in my career. I am intent on making sure that it remains the only time ever.”

Jewish reggae superstar Matisyahu will accompany Dmitriy to the ring with a special performance and the action-packed December 16 undercard will also feature a pair of other Jewish fighters.



Eilon Kedem is one of a handful of Israeli pro fighters and he will be on the card as a featherweight. Kedem (11-4) learned to box in the IDF and is living out his dream of being a professional boxer in America.

As well, 2008 US Olympic alternate and US national amateur champion Nelson Boyd Jr. will be fighting as a middelweight.

Boyd Jr. – who will be donating his purse from the event to help cure paralysis caused by spinal injury – is making his professional debut in late November and will be hoping to bring a 1-0 record the following month to the Salita undercard.

Salita started his early preparations for his upcoming title bout in late September, training at Universal Boxing Club in New York, before relocating to the storied Kronk Gym in Detroit to work with one of the best in the business, legendary trainer and manager Emanuel Steward.

“I am enjoying my time at the Kronk,” said Salita. “Mr. Steward’s experience is providing me with a great deal of boxing education.

Winning a world title is my destiny and I will face it head-on againt Anchondo, who presents a definite challenge for me.”

Steward has followed Salita’s career from the US Nationals, Golden Gloves and now as a pro.

“Dmitriy has really impressed me with his work ethic and fundamentals. I haven’t seen many fighters with more heart that this kid, and I’ve see ’em all,” Steward told the Post.

In another interesting twist to the Salita story, Steward has also given some boxing lessons to Detroit’s own rapper, record producer, and actor Marshall Mathers, aka Eminem, who, according to various sources, may be preparing to play Salita in a Walt Disney film titled “Knockout.”

In related news, Salita was chosen this week as a finalist for the Jewish Federations of North America 2010 Jewish Community Hero of the Year award.

The Ukrainian-born Chabad-Lubavitch boxer has always been proud to promote Jewish identity and educate young Jews about Judaism and their common history.

Considering his roots, he is particularly dedicated to promoting Jewish learning among Russian Jewish immigrants and has founded the Dmitriy Salita Youth Center to help bring the community together and promote Jewish learning.

Each of the five finalists will attend The JFNA’s General Assembly in New Orleans next month, where the winner will be announced.

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