Salita: Gone in 76 seconds

By Danny Caro, December 10, 2009
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Shock and awe: Salita is caught by one of the devastating blows Amir Khan launched in the opening round

Shock and awe: Salita is caught by one of the devastating blows Amir Khan launched in the opening round

Dmitriy Salita has vowed to bounce back from Saturday’s WBA light-welterweight title humbling against holder Amir Khan.

The Brooklyn-based fighter was blown away by a devastating flurry of punches from Khan who knocked him down three times in the first round. The first was a lightning left-right combination within 15 seconds of the opening bell. The fight, at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena, was stopped after just 76 seconds.

A dazed Salita never recovered and was subjected to a further barrage that saw him collapse to one knee after a devastating left had sent him reeling across the ring.

Described as the most sensational performance of Khan’s career, Salita, 27, reflected on his first defeat in 32 bouts. “He surprised me with how fast he came out. I didn’t do anything although before the fight I feel as though I did everything that I could.

“The right-hand stunned me but didn’t hurt me. He has very quick hands. With the first knock down I just didn’t see the punches coming and I guess that’s what led to the subsequent knockdowns. I’ve been caught with harder punches. I don’t feel like I did anything wrong. Amir Khan was gracious in victory.”

He insisted he could have continued had the fight not been stopped and blamed his style as a slow-starter.

“It was quite bizarre as in a certain way I don’t feel like I’ve fought. I didn’t get hurt. I have no bruises but he did what he had to do.

“I came here to win and am disappointed. I apologise to my fans as I’ve enjoyed great support.”
Having drowned his sorrows on Newcastle Brew beer after the fight, Salita spent Monday on a sightseeing tour around London. Before flying to Israel on Tuesday, he said: “I’d like to fight in England again one day, maybe in London next time. I’m still hungry to go on.

Last updated: 3:42pm, December 10 2009