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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Salita and Anchondo Looking to Rebound

Both Dmitriy Salita and Mike Anchondo have been maligned by the boxing public of late. Salita was knocked out in 76 seconds by Amir Khan a year ago. Anchondo was knocked out by Freddie Hernandez in the fourth round this past September.

On December 16, in the Roseland Ballroom in New York, New York, they fight for the vacant IBA welterweight championship. That this fight is for a world championship is one of those cruel jokes that modern boxing tends to play on its followers. Boxing people realize that the winner of the bout cannot claim to be the best in the division. In fact, a win will assuredly not land either in the top ten.

But it remains a potentially intriguing contest between two veterans looking to redirect their careers.

Salita (31-1-1, 16 KOs) was knocked down three times, the first coming ten seconds after the opening bell, against Khan, the WBA junior welterweight champ. He has since won a unanimous decision over journeyman Franklin Gonzalez in September. Against Anchondo, he will have a significant height and reach advantage. Salita, who is trained by Nirmal Lorick, has worked out with Emmanuel Steward for the bout. Steward said of Salita, "I think he can be very good, can make a good comeback, and become champion. He's a very special talent." The fight is in Salita's hometown.

Salita has to be considered the favorite in the fight, but Anchondo, who is trained by Justin Fortune, is confident. He told Thomas Gerbasi, "[Salita's] gonna come in and do the old school style and try to pepper me with as many punches as he can, and that's fine. I'm fast too and we're working on that. You'll just see."

At one point, Anchondo (30-3, 19 KOs) who is a former junior lightweight champion, had a seemingly bright future in boxing. While everyone acknowledges that he is one of the nicest guys in boxing, not many foresee much of a future in the sport for the California resident anymore. At 5'5" he is a tiny welterweight. At 147 pounds, he has not retained the power and speed that he possessed at 130 pounds. He looked overmatched against Hernandez three months ago, a loss that increasingly looks worse. Hernandez was recently victimized by a first round knockout against Andre Berto, the WBC champ and a top five welterweight.

It is easy to dismiss this bout because of the bogusness of the belt. But, in reality, with a win either man would be able to put a recognizable name on the resume and take another step closer towards returning to boxing relevance.

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