By Mitch Abramson
When Dmitriy Salita walks through doors of the Kronk Gym in Detroit these days, he is met with a hearty welcome of “Brooklyn!” by the occupants. Salita, who has been training with Emanuel Steward for over a year, is in the final stages of completing the details on a “big fight” that would catapult him back into the limelight, he told BoxingScene.com on Friday.
Salita (33-1) wouldn’t reveal much-only that the fight would probably take place in New York and would be finalized in a few days. Salita has worked hard to rebuild himself in the aftermath of a disappointing performance against Amir Khan for the WBA junior welterweight title in December of 2009 in which he was sent to the canvas three times and the bout lasted a grand total of 76 seconds. Since then, Salita has won three fights in an eight month period, founded his own promotional company, run several shows, and continued training with Steward, who has made a career of late with retooling seemingly damaged fighters and having them flourish (see Wladimir Klitschko, Miguel Cotto, Lennox Lewis, etc.) Salita is hoping he does the same for him.
“For the last two fights, I’ve made my training camp here, and the results have shown for themselves,” Salita said from Detroit. “It’s good work, and it’s a step up for me in terms of the caliber of the training. It’s great to have such experience and knowledge in the corner.”
Salita trains side-by-side other Steward boxers, such as Andy Lee, who’s preparing for his middleweight rematch with Brian Vera on October 1; and Johnathan Banks, who’s to face Fres Oquendo on Sept. 10 in a heavyweight bout on the undercard of Vitali Klitschko and Tomasz Adamek from Poland.
Salita hooked up with Steward at the urging of his mentor, the late Jimmy O’Pharrow, who phoned the trainer to make the introductions and got the process started. Salita, who also trains with Nirmal Lorick when he's back home in New York, is grateful for the opportunity.
“I thank God every day for being able to get back on this level,” Salita said. “I have three wins in an eight month period and I’m hoping for a big fight. I think about rebuilding myself and being back in the limelight.”
Mitch Abramson covers boxing for the New York Daily News and BoxingScene.com.