Editor’s note: Ron Ross was kind enough to provide this piece about Dmitriy Salita’s latest venture, but as I was out of the loop for awhile, I’m just getting to it now.
Dmitriy “The Star Of David” Salita is shining again. In his first ring appearance since April, 2011 and only his third fight since the fiasco in Newcastle, England when he was stopped in the first round by the titleholder, Amir Khan for the only loss in his 37 fight professional career, Salita showed speed, power, and ring smarts as he destroyed veteran welterweight battler, Roberto Valenzuela of Sonora, Mexico, stopping him 26 seconds into the fourth round at Civic Center Exposition Hall in Mobile, Alabama.
Dmitriy was a fighter on a mission! He wants that championship belt and crown that his Brooklyn buddy Paulie Malignaggi so proudly possesses. Friendship goes only so far. With Malignaggi scheduled to open the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn on October 20 against an opponent to be named, Salita wants to fill in that blank. He has teamed up with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions in hopes of getting that shot.
Salita looked poised, sharp, and motivated against a seasoned veteran with 130 fights under his belt. The 39-year-old Valenzuela may have his best days behind him but he’s a tough trial horse who can test anyone. He tested Salita and the Brooklyn gladiator’s grades were very high.
From the fading echo of the bell sounding the start of Round One, Dmitriy looked sharp as he opened up a relentless body attack. He had no trouble ducking and warding off Valenzuela’s long, looping blows. Salita’s non-stop attack to the body would have Valenzuela bring his hands down and that’s when Salita went upstairs. It was near the end of the third round that Salita’s banging away at the rib cage was followed with a smashing left hook to Valenzuela’s jaw that completely unhinged the veteran boxer. He slid to the canvas, getting up on shaky legs at the count of eight just before the bell sounded. However, it was a brief one minute reprieve.
Salita came out swinging in the fourth round, nailing Valenzuela with a flurry of unanswered blows as the referee stepped in and wisely stopped the fight at the 26-second mark of that round.
Salita is prepared to go against his friend Malignaggi in October. He may need another tune-up but that’s the fight he wants -– and so does the champ Malignaggi, because it would be the biggest ring attraction conceivable for Brooklyn’s new entertainment center.
Center Stage is ready, the performers are raring to go. It’s the ideal fight to open the Barclay Center. And Dmitriy Salita has earned the shot.