|Rejuvenated Salita feels ready for title shot
INTERVIEW by Dan Horgan (Aug 9, 2006)
As Dmitriy Salita sits in his home in Brooklyn, New York, he smiles. It’s an odd smile, one that makes you question why he seems so happy. Maybe it’s because he has an impressive 25-0-1 record that is by no means padded. Maybe it’s because of his already large fan base, one that some champions could only dream of. Or maybe it’s because his biggest paydays still lie ahead, even though he’s already made a substantial amount of money in his young twenty-six fight career. But then you look and see Salita’s smile again, and you realize this type of smile isn’t one that seems to come from success. As a matter of fact, this smile puzzles you, and you realize that Salita knows something you
In order to figure out what this smile could possibly be, you follow Salita to the Sarret City Boxing Club where he now trains. You watch him carefully as he works on technique with trainer Jimmy O’Pharrow and then steps into the ring for an intense sparring session. After watching Salita for a round or two, it hits you: Salita is smiling because he is a completely changed fighter.
Although Salita has been nearly perfect so far in his five year career, it was an eight round draw this past March that made him realize he needed some fine tuning. On the under card of the Hasim Rahman vs. James Toney bout, Salita faced off against unknown Ramon Montano in what was supposed to be an easy night of work for the Ukraine native. However, things didn‘t exactly go as planned.
The night had disaster written all over it from the beginning. After suffering from illness while training for the fight, Salita entered the ring without being one-hundred percent ready. “My preparation for the fight was not optimal,” said Salita. “I always train, but my mind was not there. When I was in the locker before the fight, I knew it was going to be a long night.”
A long night is exactly what occurred. In the first round, Salita was floored twice and had to use everything he had to salvage a draw.
Although Salita thinks he did enough to win that fight, he took it as a learning experience, and most importantly, a wake up call. This meant getting back to basics at the gym where he grew up.
“When I went back to the Sarret City Boxing Club my trainer had me get back to doing a lot of things I did when I was younger. I went through some vigorous workouts with intense sparring. We just focused on getting better.”
In total, Salita’s camp lasted three months. The results of his hard work were displayed with a six round bashing of Shad Howard this past July. In that fight, Salita feels he showed glimpses of how he has changed, but still believes the best is yet to come.
“Some of the things that we worked on in the gym really materialized in the fight, and I am happy with that. I am using a lot more angles and my attack is much more diverse. However, the fight wasn’t intense enough to show a lot, and there are a lot of mistakes that I have to work on.”
So, what’s next for the rising superstar?
“I have a fight on Sept 20 and hopefully will have one more before the end of the year. My trainers want me to have two more fight this year and fight for a title early next year. I want to get a chance to make history and fulfill my childhood dream. It is going to be a great experience.”
Maybe there are multiple reasons why Dmitry’s smiling.
To learn more about Dmitriy, check out his website at www.dsalita.com.
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