Dmitriy Salita has nothing to prove to anyone -– anyone except Dmitriy Salita, that is. The reason: he has already proven it all. He proved it as a Golden Glover, not just by winning the championship of his division but by winning the coveted Sugar Ray Robinson award as the tournament’s outstanding performer.
He proved it in a stellar professional career, wading through his first thirty-one fights undefeated. He proved it outside of the ring as well, donating his time, his efforts, and his energy to community activities, working with youngsters, helping them adjust to a way of life and a world that they are not yet familiar with. He proved it by winning the North American Boxing Association and World Boxing Association International championships. Like I said, Dmitriy Salita has nothing to prove, but he’s going to because he is Dmitriy Salita.
At a press conference held in the offices of 5WPublic Relations in Midtown Manhattan on Aug. 3, Salita, together with his new promoters, the O’Shea Brothers, announced his return to the ring -– his first appearance since suffering the lone defeat of his career –- will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 1 at the Oceana Hall in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn against an opponent to be announced and will be telecast exclusively on The Jewish Channel.
It will be Salita’s first fight since losing to junior welterweight champion Amir Khan in a hostile atmosphere of horrible fan behavior where Salita and his followers were subjected to verbal and physical abuse by anti-Semitic thugs with little or no security control. By the time Salita entered the ring, his face was drained of all color and it was apparent that he was no longer focused –- at least not on the task before him.
The fight was stopped at 1:16 seconds of the first round with Salita simply not fighting back
He looks at the Sept 1 event as The Redemption. I see it more as just picking up where he left off before the “unfortunate educational experience.” So, let’s call it The Resumption.
A point of information for Salita: pay attention, my friend: There was a guy named Jack Dempsey who, some 93 years ago was knocked out by a going-nowhere-and-never-got-there heavyweight named Jim Flynn in 20 seconds of the first round. Yeah, Dmitriy, this was the same Jack Dempsey who went on to run a nice restaurant on Broadway -– after being one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all time.
Then there was a Bob Montgomery who was knocked out by Al “Bummy” Davis in 63 seconds of the first round of what was the quickest main event knockout in Madison Square Garden history at the time (1943). He didn’t wait as long as you did, Dmitriy. Two weeks later, the same Bob Montgomery beat Beau Jack for the Lightweight Championship of the world.
Hey, and let’s not forget a guy of much more recent vintage, a guy you’re pretty familiar with: Amir Khan ! Ring a bell? It’s not quite two years ago that Amir Khan was flattened in 54 seconds of the first round by Breidis Prescott.
Like I said, Dmitriy Salita has nothing to prove to me, to you or anyone -– except maybe Dmitriy Salita -– and his lovely wife Alona, who, may I remind Dmitriy will be sharing that night of Sept. 1 with you in celebration of your first anniversary! Hopefully, it will be a knockout of an affair!
Tickets for the bout are priced at $150 (Special VIP Ringside), $100 (Ringside), and $60 and are available through Salita’s website and the Oceana box office.
Boxing aficionado Ron Ross is author of Bummy Davis vs. Murder, Inc.: The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Mafia and an Ill-Fated Prizefighter.