After Dmitriy “Star of David” Salita’s fight against Hector Camacho Jr. was cancelled at the beginning of the year, Salita was not sure what would happen next.
The 31-year-old welterweight boxer has a career record of 33 wins, one loss and one draw over his 12 year distinguished career. Salita, an Orthodox Jew with roots in the Ukraine, has been a role model for several young Jewish athletes and established his own promotion company in 2010 called “Salita Promotions”.
Salita has one more chance to rejuvenate his career. He believes that if wins the upcoming fight, he will be able to keep his dream alive of fighting in one more world title bout. If he loses, chances are he will see retirement looming.
In one of the most anticipated fights in New York City in recent memory, Salita is scheduled to fight against Gabriel “Tito” Bracero (22-1-1) on Saturday, November 9th at Aviator Sports & Events Center in Brooklyn.
The Forward’s Raphael Gellar spoke with Dmitriy Salita about his upcoming fight, his future in Israel and his life as an Orthodox professional boxer.
Raphael Gellar: A few months ago, you told me you were considering retirement after the cancellation of your last fight, what changed?
Dmitry Salita: I was considering retirement for lack of good opportunities. Boxing is full of politics and with the Camacho fight falling out the way it happened, was very bad. I did stay in shape and hoped that some of the opportunities that I was working on would materialize and luckily this one did.
What music do you plan to use when you enter for your big fight?
I am thinking about it. I have a few choices in my mind but I think I narrowed it down. A little while ago I heard an old rock classic “Here I go again on my own” I related to the lyrics so it maybe that.
How exactly did this fight get organized?
I read some months ago that Gabriel called me out for a fight. At the time, I was getting ready to fight Camacho. Then after that fell through, I called him and his people about putting it together. It took some time to organize, and I got the contract for it right after Rosh Hashana. We just had a press conference a few days ago to announce it and I am beyond excited.
What do you hope to accomplish from this fight?
Gabriel is a world ranked fighter who is well known in the boxing world. I expect that a victory will put me a step closer to challenge for another world title. I am training hard and look forward to November 9th.
Why did you start your own promotion company?
I started my company in 2010. We promoted some of my fights as well as other well-known world class fighters’, world champions and contenders. I value the relationship that I have with the boxing community the boxers and trainers. I think there is a lot of potential and I am working hard to materialize it. We are working on boxing shows for the next few months. I enjoy the process and am excited about the possibilities
How is the training going for the fight?
Training is going very well! I have spent the last few weeks in Florida sharing camp with current light heavyweight champion, Adonis Stevenson and Anthony Dirrel. It’s a great atmosphere! I am working really hard and I look forward to coming home and putting on a show November 9th.
How do you manage to balance the time between religion and work?
Both religion and my work have found a way to function side by side. My goal of religious life is to incorporate it into my business and every day activities, that’s what I have been taught and I strongly believe that message. I train in Boca Raton, and the Jewish community here has been very warm and welcoming.
Do you ever plan on living in Israel with your family?
I love Israel! My wife is actually an Israeli citizen. I hope that one day, we can work towards that opportunity.