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February 23, 2013

By Scott Shaffer

Representatives of Hector Camacho, Jr. and Dmitriy Salita insist both men are ready willing and able to face each other in a natural Brooklyn rivalry fight, but Golden Boy, the house promoter for Brooklyn's Barclay Center, so far refuses put the fight on its April 27th show there. Golden Boy should reconsider. A bout between the Puerto Rican Camacho and Salita, an Orthodox Jew, would attract casual boxing fans to Golden Boy's new Brooklyn series of shows.  Camacho and Salita were scheduled to fight earlier this month but headliner Danny Garcia suffered a sparring injury. The entire card, save for Camacho-Salita, was moved to April and Golden Boy portrayed the boxers as unwilling to reschedule. However, both sides insist this is untrue, and it seems that the cancellation is an unfortunately shortsighted money-saving move by Golden Boy. Camacho and Salita would be an interesting ethnic rivalry between two well-known boxers in need of a signature victory. The bout would attract fans to the Barclay Center that Garcia vs. Zab Judah would not.

Camacho's promoter, Zeferino Ramirez told Boxingtalk, "all the false and negative comments about Camacho Jr. [allegedly refusing to reschedule] need to be addressed. Here is our version of events: Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions states the Salita-Camacho fight was off and would not be rescheduled because 'Camacho is not going to fight. The card was postponed and then he was moving on.'"

Ramirez continued, "I made a multi-fight deal with Golden Boy Promotions and this was to be Camacho Jr.ís first fight in the multi-fight deal. Why in the world would Camacho Jr., pull out of a winnable fight like Salita?  We respect Salita, but he is not on Camacho Jr.ís level. I was contacted by Golden Boy and told that due to Salitaís religious beliefs that Salita could not properly warm-up before the fight. This was due to Salita [allegedly being unwilling to] leave his house at a certain time before the fight [due his observance of the Jewish Sabbath], and therefore Salita was pulling out of the Fight."

"I am Jewish," said Ramirez, "so please let us not jump on the prejudice wagon: that [excuse] is simply what I was told by Golden Boy. Zeferino Entertainment and Team Camacho Jr. told Golden Boy Promotions and the Salita camp we welcome the fight come April 27th . Camacho wants the fight with Salita and Camacho Jr. stated: 'Come get it Salita. I will knock you out Puerto Rican style.'  That is if Golden Boy really wants us to fight Salita? It is my belief that Golden Boy realized Camacho Jr. will be victorious."

Ramirez, however, makes one mistake. Salita is not promoted by Golden Boy, and there is no motive to protect Salita, who wants the fight just as badly as Camacho.

Salita's longtime attorney, Kurt Emhoff confirmed, "I have already reached out to Golden Boy, as has Dmitriy, telling them we want this fight to happen on April 27th.  Dmitriy was devastated when he found out that it was cancelled.  We join Camacho, Jr. in demanding that the fight be put back on the card.  It's a great New York City fight between two New York fighters who have a genuine following and actually sell tickets.  This is the type of fight that draws interest and keeps fans coming back to see boxing in Brooklyn.  You have to build local interest if you're going to have longevity promoting in New York City.  I really don't see a good reason why this fight got cancelled and I see every reason to make this fight happen for the local fans.  Dmitriy was moving a ton of tickets for this fight before the event got cancelled and I'm sure that everyone who's a boxing fan in NYC wants to see Jr. do well after the tragic passing of his father.  I think both Golden Boy and Showtime need to step up and make this happen."

The ball is now in Golden Boy's court.


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