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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

New Book: Crossroads Fight

Here's an except from the book Crossroads Fight, which is about a night of fights in Brooklyn and how it relates to the sport of boxing on the whole. It culminates with the main event between Dmitriy Salita and Gabriel Bracero.

[Between Rounds 4 and 5]
Steve Farhood announced, "We all know Dmitriy Salita very well. He's a charming, wonderful, intelligent guy, but if he has an inner beast inside him, he has to let it out. I don't know if he has it in him."

"You got to put three [shots] together," Salita’s trainer Sugar Hill explained in the corner. "You understand me? Dmitriy, do you understand me? Do you understand me?" Salita finally answered nonchalantly, "Yeah, yeah." Salita’s assistant trainer Nimral Lorick added, "If you're not going to fight, we're going to stop it."

Salita had experienced difficulties and disappointments in order to reach this point in his career. He had spent several years chasing credible opponents in order to quash the criticism of haters that he has padded his record with subpar opponents. Fights with Paulie Malignaggi, Mike Anchondo, Ismael El Massoudi, and Hector Camacho Jr. all fell through within the last couple of years. The haters salivated when Salita was stopped inside of one round against Amir Khan- far and away Salita’s toughest opponent- in Khan’s hometown of Bolton, England for a world championship belt. After the fight, Salita told The Forward, “It’s been hard. England was a very tough experience. It’s something that I had never gone through- an environment and circumstances that I had not experienced before, and they very much had an effect on what happened in the fight.”

The Khan fight has had a profound impact on the rest of Salita’s career. It has been hard for Salita to get important fights after the loss. Top Rank Vice President Carl Moretti explained, "I don't think he's an attraction anymore, after that fight with Khan.”

In the spring of 2013, a few months before signing to fight Bracero, Salita contemplated retirement. Salita told The Jewish Boxing Blog, "At this level of my career, I need the network and promoter to want to make these step-up fights... My friends in the boxing world tell me that logically it does not make sense that I do not get good opportunities, especially in New York City, the world's biggest Jewish metropolis. My record and fan support should make things easy, but they are very hard. I honestly feel that I have been getting second class treatment. It's very frustrating as you can imagine."

The fight against Bracero was the culmination of a multi-year quest to fight a respected opponent. Salita hoped a victory would lead to bigger and better things. “I think the winner of Paulie and Judah would make a lot of sense for me,” Salita thought.

Check out more from Crossroads Fight here.

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