Salita eager to Dominate and Put FEAR in the Jr. Welterweight division

By Ray O. Campbell Jr.


Salita eager to Dominate and Put FEAR in the Jr. Welterweight division

“I am excited about proving and showing that I am the best”

RC: What’s going on Dmitriy?

DS: Everything is good; I am just working hard, training well, and working on my mistakes. I’m really looking forward to getting back in the ring, and showing people who the best fighter is.

RC: What are some of the mistake you felt you made in your last fight, that you feel you need to correct?

DS: Well I feel that I didn’t box enough, I didn’t use my jab and my body movement was a little too flat. So these are all things that I am working on, and working on them hard. I am also doing a good solid strength program, and I think all of these things are going to have an affect in my next fight. I am also doing a good diet; I am really watching my weight and watching my body way before the fight. I don’t even have anything scheduled yet, but I just want to be healthy and strong. So even though I don’t have a fight scheduled, I still stay in the gym and work hard. This time right now is a great time to concentrate on the technique of boxing instead of just worrying about getting in shape.

RC: Do you the think that fighting in front of your hometown in your last fight against Paul Delgado, might have lead you to loose focus?

DS: I don’t think so, but you never know. It is just one of those things; it definitely wasn’t one of my best performances. But since then I have made some adjustments, and I think that people are going to see a lot better things, God willing, in my next fight.

RC: Before we get any further into boxing, recently over the holiday season you were invited to the White House, and met President Bush how did that go?

DS: Ah Man, it was a tremendous honor and great experience, something that I really didn’t expect to happen, especially at this stage of my life. So it was a great blessing, a great honor to meet the President. President of the greatest country in the world, it gave me great motivation, and it was an unbelievable experience.

RC: How did you get invited? How does that work? (Laughing) I mean did you get a phone saying “Hey Dmitriy, I was watching your fight the other day and would like for you to come join me at the white house?”

DS: Well yeah (Starts to laugh) actually that is what happen.

RC: (A Bit in shock) Are you serious?

DS: (Laughing) Yeah, I got a phone call and then I got an invitation. I got a call from the secretary for Noam Neusner, who is the Liaison to the Jewish community at the White House, and what they have is an annual Hanukah party every year. They have leaders of the community and different figures from all over the country, and it was a great honor to be amongst them and to be invited. Like I said it was really a tremendous experience.

RC: Is President Bush a big boxing fan?

DS: Yeah, he even put up his hands and did a little shadow boxing, and just kind of mimicked a little boxing. He wished me luck, and said that he was going to follow my career; he also told me to keep training hard and keep doing my thing. And that really gave me motivation, and God willing when I fight for the title, I hope he comes to one of my fights.

RC: Since President Bush is a big boxing fan, why don’t you give me his number so that I can give him a call and get his predictions for this weekend’s fights?

DS: For his number, your guess is as good as mine.

RC: What was it like being around the secret service and having to deal with them?

DS: It was like the airport.

RC: Were you nervous?

DS: Yeah I was very nervous, I wasn’t nervous in the beginning but once I started going towards the White House I was getting nervous. You know when I did most of my traveling, most of the time I was traveling out of town for fights…..I got a little nervous and a little anxiety on my way there, like when you are going to a boxing match. But it was a great experience, one of the best.

RC: The last time we spoke, you mentioned that you will be looking to fight again in February, has that changed?

DS: I am thinking over a few different propositions, speaking with a few different people, a few different promoters, and I am very anxious to get back into the ring. I hope that it is going to happen early or mid March. There is a lot of interesting, and unique propositions out there and I am thinking it over and speaking with my people about what would be the next best move. But I really just want that stuff to get settled so that I can start staying busy and having the next year or so mapped out.

RC: You mentioned you are speaking with different promoters, are you no longer working with Lou DiBella, who promoted your last two fights, both of which took place in New York?

DS: Lou DiBella is one of the guys we are speaking with, obviously he is a great promoter and doing a lot great things for boxing in New York, but at this point and time I am a free agent. I am also speaking with a few other big promoters that might be doing things on the East coast and fights in New York. It is great that I have good options and different things on the table, but you know I just want to get back into the ring and show people who the man is.

RC: Care to share with us, who are some of the other promoters you are currently talking to about a possible promotional contract?

DS:  I don’t think at this point and time I can discuss that with you, but when I do, you will be the first one to know.

RC: Just recently Iceman John Scully was telling me that he use to call you...

DS: (Cutting in) The Russian rapper, how did you know that?

RC: He told me he use to see you in the gym and that is what he use to call you.

DS: He is the man, and he by the way he has got to be one of the best trainers in boxing.

RC: You obviously have a lot of talent and a very good image for the sport, and many probably cant understand why you haven’t signed with a promoter yet, has the fact that you are unable to fight on Friday night, or on Saturday due to your religion play a role in a promoter not signing you right away, or is I that you are just trying to find the best option?

DS: The thing here is whatever it is going to be, it is going to be a long term type of commitment and with a long term commitment, everything has to be right. The most important thing is to have a good relationship with the people that you work with, and when you sign a contract that is a long term contract, for the main part of your career, it is important that things are right. My attorney Kurt Emhoff has been doing a great job sorting through everything, he is a great guy, and really, honestly one of the best people in boxing. It is a great honor to work with him. So I am confident that it is going to get worked out.

It is a blessing, and the great thing is, it doesn’t make a difference what day I fight. Obviously as you have seen from my last two fights, people come. One fight was on a Tuesday and one was on a Thursday, and both of the fights were packed. Actually the promoters know that I am a good draw in NYC, and that is what is drawing all the interest.

RC: Even though you currently don’t have a promoter, has there been any mention of who your next opponent might be? Maybe a name or two you have been thinking about as a possible step up?

DS: I definitely want to fight someone with a name within the next few fights, and hopefully fight on one of the big networks, ShowTime or HBO.

RC: In your next fight?

DS: No not in my next fight, in the near future though. Hopefully before the summer, maybe in the summer and that will really be great, because when you fight on one of those networks and you perform well it is really a great step forward. The thing now, like at this point and time, I am as hungry as I been when I turned pro, and it is great to have that feeling back. When it comes to boxing I am very very hungry.

RC: What do you attribute this hunger to now?

DS: Well right now my training is going very very well. At this point and time in my career when you have to go up a level from all of the previous guys that you fought. It is more important now opposed to before, when you could slack off or whatever and you’d  still do well because you are so much more talented than the level of your competition. But now when you are stepping it up, it is important to train hard all of the time and focus on getting better because the margin for error is very slim when you step up to the plate. So you know I am very excited about it, and I am excited about proving and showing that I am the best. I am very hungry to start dominating and putting FEAR, that’s right FEAR, in the Jr. Welterweight division.

RC: Let me get your prediction on Miguel Cotto versus Chop Chop Corley?

DS: Cotto

RC: Tszyu-Hatton?

DS: Tszyu, he is my man, that guy is awesome.

RC: Have you ever met him?

DS: Yes I have, he actually had a press conference in Brighton Beach (Brooklyn) before for Sharmba Mitchell.

RC: What was it like when you met him?

DS: It was great because he told me that he watched some of my fights, he watched my fight with Rocky Martinez, and I didn’t know that he was keeping tabs on me. It was a great honor, you see Kostya Tszyu is one of the fighters that I respect the most, this guy regardless of anything else he takes his work very seriously and I have a lot of respect for people that show professionalism and respect towards their work. He is a perfectionist, and he trains very hard and always gets himself prepared. He has never, not been ready for a fight.

RC: Is there anything else you would like to say in closing before I let you go?

DS: I am looking forward to getting back into the ring. People are going to see new things and new improvements and I am looking forward to fighting sometime soon.


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