Salita muscles in for world title challenge

By Mike Sinclair, December 9, 2010
Focuse: Dmitriy Salita

Focuse: Dmitriy Salita

Dmitriy Salita is confident he will become a world champion after exploiting the confused, multi-organisational state of professional boxing to manufacture a second opportunity in New York next week.

Having failed to win the highly-regarded WBA light-welterweight when he was demolished in 76 seconds by Amir Khan in Newcastle a year ago, Salita has lowered his sights.

Under the banner of his own new promotional company, he has moved up a weight division to contest the vacant welterweight title of the hitherto little-known IBA against American Mike Anchondo who, despite still only being 28 - the same age as Salita - has his best days behind him.

The fight takes place at New York's Roseland Ballroom where Salita aims to dance to his own tune against Anchondo who still talks a good fight, claiming: "I see a kid who fights like an amateur, at best. He's going to come in and do the old school style and try to pepper me with as many punches as he can, and that's fine. I'm fast too and we're working on that."

Salita, for his part, is taking Anchondo very seriously, well aware that another setback would see him join next week's opponent among the ranks of boxing's also-rans.

He enlisted the help of Emanuel Steward and, with his regular trainer Nirmal Lorick, went to Detroit to work with the legendary mentor of Lennox Lewis, Thomas Hearns and a production line of other famous fighters.

"Emanuel Steward's experience has provided me with a great deal of boxing education. He's going to help me reach the next level. He's seen it all and it's the little things that make a big difference," said Salita.

Steward admitted to being impressed by his new student. "I was surprised at his talent. He's holding his own, put it that way, against the rough bunch of guys that we have there. I showed him a couple of moves and he caught on right away.

Meanwhile, Laura Saperstein stretched her unbeaten record to 11 fights with a hard-earned points win over Bulgaria's Milena 'Hells Baby' Koleva in a six-round contest at the Doncaster Dome.

Featherweight Saperstein won by a single round, taking the 58-57 decision.

Last updated: 2:12pm, December 9 2010