Shohjahon Ergashev’s promoter is sure that the heavy-handed southpaw is more than ready to face elite-level opponents within the junior welterweight division.

Once Ergashev encounters Luis Veron on Thursday night at Ford Community & Performing Arts Center in Dearborn, Michigan, Dmitriy Salita says he is prepared to do whatever is necessary to make those types of fights happen for the 30-year-old Uzbekistan native. Ergashev (21-0, 19 KOs) is a heavy favorite entering his 10-round, non-televised fight against Argentina’s Veron (19-3-2, 9 KOs), Ergashev’s first appearance since his contractual dispute with Salita Promotions was resolved in February.

“For two months, Ergashev has been training with ‘Sugar Hill’ Steward and his team,” Salita said. “He has been in training camp in Miami, Florida. He’s number four in the IBF and in the top 10 of all the other major sanctioning bodies. Word on the street is Josh Taylor is gonna give up the [IBF] title. Winning this fight hopefully will move Ergashev up in the rankings and certainly put him in line to fight the best junior welterweights in the world.

“Those are the opportunities we’ll go after in a very aggressive way. There is not a junior welterweight in the world Ergashev would avoid – not one, not even Josh Taylor or Regis Prograis or any of the so-called elite fighters in the weight class. Ergashev is ready to fight any one of them.”

Ergashev would be a high-risk, low-reward proposition for Scotland’s Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs), who was stripped recently of the WBA’s 140-pound crown. It’s therefore more likely that Ergashev will fight for a vacant championship if he gets the title shot he wants.

Salita has had difficulty securing high-profile fights for Ergashev because Salita doesn’t have an exclusive deal with a television network or a streaming service. That’s what led to scheduling Ergashev to compete in a non-televised fight that’ll be available on Salita Promotions’ YouTube channel by Friday afternoon.

Still, Salita, who fought mostly as a welterweight from 2001-13, understands that he’ll probably have to partner with another promoter to move Ergashev into a more prominent position.

“I was a fighter, so I understand that a fighter’s time at his peak is finite,” Salita said. “So, from one point of view, I feel that someone who has an exclusive TV deal can come to me and say, ‘OK, well, you wanna fight our champion? You wanna fight on television? Fine. Let’s do a multi-year deal and we’re the co-promoter.’ I don’t think that’s fair because I’ve had Ergashev since his fourth professional fight. At the same time, I understand that his time at the peak of his career is finite, and he needs to jump on the wagon and make the best of it.

“So, for him, I will do a deal that can progress him to that point sooner than later. Because, at the end of the day, I care about the fighters and I have confidence that from a business standpoint we’ll get to the level we need to get to at the right time. I care about the fighter and I know that he needs to step up. Because I do not have an exclusive TV deal, some opportunities, especially in that weight class, I may not be able to get for him, like someone who has an exclusive TV deal can.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.