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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Brainstorming about Salita's Future Opponents

Whenever Dmitriy Salita's name is mentioned in a boxing website's forum or a comment section, it's never good. Critics consider him a bum. They site his first round loss to Amir Khan and the lack of quality wins on his resume. They resent his popularity when compared to his accomplishments in the ring.

It is fair to criticize Salita for going in soft. Khan is realistically the only good fighter Salita has faced and Dmitriy admittedly didn't perform well. That criticism of Salita is fair for two reasons. The first is Salita's talent. Sure, he doesn't have Khan's hand speed, but few do. Salita is a tremendously skilled guy; he's a smart boxer with decent power. It's a shame he hasn't put that talent to the test more often.

Secondly, Salita could be content to serve as a regional attraction. He would make money and people happy. But he's vocal about wanting more. He wants to be a world champion. He has the talent to do it. But winning a title requires one to tough foes time and again. At this point, Salita needs to keep taking a step up with each successive fight .

Here are a few names, without knowing their contractual situation or their willingness to fight Salita, that would mark the best win of Salita's career and help him towards becoming a better fighter.

Cosme Rivera (32-14-2, 23 KOs) - Beating Rivera is like a rite of passage for quality welterweights. He is the consummate stepping stone.

Mike Arnaoutis (22-7-2, 10 KOs) - A name guy who has lost 4 straight, all to quality foes.

Jose Miguel Cotto (34-2-1, 24 KOs) - A short, blown up lightweight. But he gave Saul Alvarez a good fight at junior middle. He faces Malignaggi tonight.

Lanardo Tyner (24-4-2, 15 KOs) - A short guy, whose best win is against Antwone Smith, a good fighter. Tyner tends to lose at that level though. He is 4-4-2 in his last 10 fights.

Lovemore N'dou (48-12-2, 31 KOs) - This 39 year old is 3-4-1 in his last 8 fights, but only loses to talented guys.

Steve Forbes (35-9, 11 KOs) - A veteran who always comes to fight. Would be a good test for Salita, but Forbes is likely too short and not powerful enough to beat him. Two Pound's 3-6 in his last 9.

Steve Chambers (23-1-1, 6 KOs) - Young, untested guy from Philly with limited power. Just beat the formerly undefeated Bayan Jargal, who still holds the title of best current nickname (the Mongolian Mongoose!), by split decision.

Terrance Cauthen (36-7, 9 KOs) - This slick southpaw veteran has beaten some good fighters. But Salita won't have to worry about his power. Cauthen's 4-4 in his last 8, all losses to quality guys.

Freddie Hernandez (29-2, 20 KOs) - Knocked out Mike Anchondo, who Salita was scheduled to fight, but was knocked out in the first round against world champion Andre Berto.

Demetrius Hopkins (30-2-1, 11 KOs) - Tested veteran who looked flat in his last fight.

Jesus Soto Karass (24-6-3, 16 KOs) - Hardnose veteran, who would show if Salita has championship mettle. He's lost his last 3 decisions.

Shamone Alvarez (21-4, 12 KOs) - Would mark another tough test for Salita. He's 1-3 in his last 4. Has a date for June.

Most of the men above have lost to someone else on this list. They're a couple steps below championship level, but fighting these guys would make Salita better and give him the best win of career to this point. On Wednesday, Salita is scheduled to face Ronnie Warrior Jr. (13-4-1, 4 KOs), who, at least on paper, is considerably below Salita's level.


  1. I don't consider Salita a "bum";I just don't think he "gets it".For his upcoming fight-in which he also doubles as promoter,he has Luis Collazo fighting a guy who lost to him-as well as his last several fights.It's amazing he was able to get to fight Khan.I think Malignaggi(who just decisioned Cotto)and Collazo are buddy's of his-so what.Benny Leonard fought his buddy (and fellow Hall of Famer)Johnny Dundee tons of times(see boxrec.com).One obvious question is why isn't Salita fighting Collazo in ..at least a rematch next week.Or Paul
    Spadafora,who's apparently negotiating with Floyd Mayweather;Spadafora can be seen on youtube knocking Mayweather around the ring in a sparring session.And since Mayweather's probably looking at making license plates for a while,Spadafora(and the above names)are available..

  2. Good points, Brian. It seems like Salita has two types of critics. One group thinks that he's talented, he just needs to face stiffer competition. The other thinks he's a total bum. Regarding the fighters you mentioned, do you think Salita could beat them at this point? Malignaggi beat Cotto soundly tonight and realistically Salita's never beaten a guy even as good as Cotto.

  3. If I had to bet,I'd have to go with Malignaggi-but Malignaggi wouldn't hurt him.I don't think Spadafora would hurt him either...We both seem to agree that he has to make a serious point regarding the level of his competition...like Erik Morales,who almost pulled it off last night..