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Dmitriy Salita - Boxer

Boxing top junior welterweight

Born: April, 4, 1982 - Odessa, Ukraine
Died: ---

Dimitriy Salita vs. Ramon Montano
Dimitriy Salita vs. Ramon Montano
Dmitriy "Star of David" Salita was born in 1982 in the Ukraine.
At age nine, his family, fearing persecution in the Soviet Union, immigrated to the United States and made its home in Brooklyn, NY.

In school he was constantly bullied owing to his strange accent and clothes. Motivated by the abuse he soon began learning karate. At 13, encouraged by his brother, Salita switched over from karate to boxing, and he began to train at Starrett City Boxing Club in predominantly black East New York, Brooklyn.

At 14, Salita's mother died of cancer, leading him to embrace religion and become an Orthodox Jew as a member of the Chabad. He began keeping kosher and studying with a rabbi.

In 2001, Salita won the New York Golden Gloves fighting at 139 pounds.

On December 4, 2009, Salita fought Amir Khan at Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom. Despite pressure from their respective fans (Khan is Muslim), both fighters vowed not to bring religion into the fight. Salita lost in a first round knockout.

Video: Trailer from Salita Doc Orthodox Stance
Soon after the Golden Gloves, Salita went professional at 19 years old. He has a record of junior welterweight (140 lbs), with a record of 30 wins, 1 losses and 1 draw. (As of December 2009)

Salita's fights attract huge numbers of Orthodox Jews—men in yarmulkes, women with heads covered and boys with tzitziot fringes hanging from their shirts— many of whom chant "Dima," one of his nicknames.

At his bouts Salita enters the ring to the sounds of Haga Nagila and wears a Star of David on his shorts.

Says his manager, Jimmy O'Pharrow, owner of the Starrett City Boxing Club: "The kid looks Russian, prays Jewish and fights black."

Interesting Facts
  • Salita does not fight or train on the Sabbath
  • He is the subject of a 2007 documentary called Orthodox Stance.
  • Attributes his rhythm to listening to a lot of Biggie and Tupac at the gym.
Further Reading
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