Boteach, Matisyahu Get Chatty at Salita Boxing Match
Late on Tuesday night, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and rapper Matisyahu were speaking together outside of the men’s room at a Brighton Beach event hall .
The pop Hasidic rabbi, author of “Kosher Sex” and former star of TLC’s “Shalom in the Home” , and the Hasidic pop star, who once sang on Letterman in a fedora , had come to the heart of Russian Brooklyn to watch their mutual friend, Orthodox Jewish boxer Dmitriy Salita, win his 33rd career fight.
Salita, who boasts a professional boxing record of 33-1, has rebounded since his stunning defeat in the second minute of his December 2009 light-welterweight title fight against world champion Amir Khan.
Salita has fought three times since, winning all of his bouts. No longer just a boxer, the young Ukranian-born New Yorker also promoted last night’s event, as he has two previous boxing cards since September.
Salita’s bout came at the end of a night of fights between heavy favorites and sometimes hapless contenders. In what was billed as the night’s co-headline bout, local favorite Luis Collazo, 29, defeated 35-year-old Franklin Gonzalez in a third-round TKO. Gonzalez slammed the mat in frustration as the referee stopped the match, then took a long while to get to his feet.
The headline fight ended after eight rounds in a unanimous decision in Salita’s favor. His opponent, Ronnie Warrior, Jr., had little support from the crowd.
“Vanilla can fight!” shouted one spectator.
“Dmitriy’s a good friend,” said Boteach after the fight. The rabbi said that he isn’t a particular fan of boxing, but that Salita often comes to his house for Friday night dinner. “What I salute about Dmitriy is his extremely proud Jewish identity,” he said.