Dmitriy Salita wants to use Salita Promotions’ Big Time Boxing USA series to revive boxing in Detroit and to stage regular fights in New York.

Ardreal Holmes Jr’s victory over Marlon Harrington at Detroit’s Wayne State Fieldhouse on February 20 represented the start of their broadcast agreement with DAZN, and Salita, who once fought out of the city’s revered Kronk gym, hopes that it will be the first of many.

The fight on April 20 between Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn is also New York’s first big fight since that of almost a year earlier between Josh Taylor and Teofimo Lopez, and as the city in which Salita grew up in, he wants to capitalise on what he considers to be its relatively “untapped” market.

If his association with DAZN means that he will have some links with the influential promoters Matchroom and Golden Boy, he will recognize that neither will do him any favors, but he said: “Matchroom’s all over the United States; Golden Boy’s mostly in the west, and the midwest market and New York City has been untapped so far. 

“We’ve been working to rejuvenate boxing in Detroit for a long time – it’ll certainly help a lot – and after Covid, boxing in New York has not been as consistent as it used to be. It’s good to see Haney-Garcia heading to the Barclays Center

“I was pursuing a TV deal for a long time. My stable has grown, and we did a lot of events off-TV, just to keep them busy. I’ve been working towards it for a long time.

“It’s crucial [to have a television deal]. The boxing business in the United States is going through a reset process. Many of the old-time networks that have supported boxing, and branded boxers, are not in the business anymore. New entities, and new ways to tell stories to boxing fans, are emerging. 

“I grew up on watching HBO Boxing. That’s what motivated me when I went to the gym; I was rushing home to watch Boxing After Dark.”

Defeats in December for his heavyweights Jarrell Miller and Otto Wallin, by Daniel Dubois and Anthony Joshua, also represented setbacks, but Salita said: “The goal is to be one of the best in the game and to develop contenders – prospects – to world championship level. ShoBox was the talent development series, with Claressa Shields; Jarrell Miller; Vladimir Shishkin; Otto Wallin; Jermaine Franklin. Equally, there’s been a lot of fighters with undefeated records and a lot of hype, but because of the competitive fights we put them in they didn’t make it to the next level.

“Storytelling is very important, and one of the reasons influencer boxing has a place in the sport; fighters are not the influencers they used to be. The only influencer I respect for giving the sport the respect it deserves is Jake Paul. He’s really giving it a real try, and him participating in the sport is benefiting boxing.

“We were on the production, so we hired some of the best [for February 20]. It turned out to be a great show. Decisions; knockouts, and upsets. That’s what we want to happen, and that’s how fans will get pulled in and make the sport grow long and wide.

“The next show, which we will announce in the coming week, is going to take place at the end of March, and it’s going to be exciting. We got a lot of fan support for having a weekday show – these shows are supposed to be on a Thursday, but this last one was on a Tuesday because we had to get going on DAZN and the venue. Boxing fans want to see interesting midweek shows.

“We’re still a talent development series but I want to exceed what people expect. With that first show we did, it’s only going to get bigger and better.”