Boxing: Salita pumped for return to ring

Salita will meet Dominican Franklin Gonzalez in the venue where he got started in as a fighter.

Dmitriy Salita 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Dmitriy Salita 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Dmitriy Salita is ready for redemption.
The former world title challenger and New York-based Orthodox Jewish pugilist will step into the ring on Wednesday night at the Oceana Hall in Brooklyn for his first fight in almost nine months, and he can’t wait to start throwing punches.
“I am very excited get back in the ring,” the 28- year-old boxer told The Jerusalem Post from his Rocky-esque style training camp at the Hudson Valley Resort in the Poconos.
“I know that once I find my groove, I will get back to winning fights and return to the top of competition.”
Salita (30-1-1, 16 KOs), who was undefeated before the Khan loss, will meet Dominican Franklin Gonzalez (13-5, 9 KOs) in the venue where he got started in as a fighter. He will also be testing a new weight class, having moved up to the welterweight division, which is a 147- pound maximum.
“I feel better at this weight,” exclaimed Salita. “As well, I have rededicated myself to boxing and have a bunch of new people around me. I feel with a win or two I’ll be right back in the mix for big fights and a world title fight.”
For the first time in his career, Salita will be playing dual roles as both fighter and promoter for the event being marketed as “Redemption,” something that he said ironically took some of the pressure off his shoulders.
“For once, I had no headaches in dealing with promoters. I knew the Jewish holidays were coming and I’ve been out of action for a while as it is. I have long envisioned starting my own thing and so when this opportunity arose, I pounced. Things actually came together very smoothly. It is an 11-fight card and is sure to be a thrilling night.”
Salita said he knows that given the loss and the lack of activity since the fight last December, he needs to prove a point.
“I definitely understand that I need to impress and put on a show in my first fight back,” he said.
As always, the ever-gregarious Salita thanked God for his fan base as well as his sponsors and said he is really looking forward to fighting in a friendly venue after being bombarded with anti-Semetic slurs and taunts when he fought Khan in London.
“This is where I grew up. I feel totally comfortable here. I’m sure I will have tremendous support from the crowd and I am preparing as best as possible to treat them to something special.”