Salita hun­gry for Big Ap­ple grudge match

The Jewish Chronicle - - Sport - BY MIKE SIN­CLAIR

BOX­ING DMITRIY Salita has been of­fered an all-New York show­down with Edgar San­tana on June 21 af­ter his world cham­pi­onship plans suf­fered a set­back.

Ukraine-born Salita has been forced to re-as­sess his world ti­tle cam­paign af­ter Gavin Rees lost his WBA light-wel­ter­weight ti­tle to An­dreas Kotel­nik in Cardiff in March.

Salita’s man­age­ment had been in talks for a chal­lenge against Rees but the Welsh­man chose to de­fend against manda­tory chal­lenger Kotel­nik in­stead and lost.

Salita, who left the Ukraine when he was nine, says: “I want the fight with Kotel­nik badly.

“I called him out and we had some back and forth press cov­er­age in the Ukraine. I want to fight him and get the WBA belt to show that I am one of the best.”

But Kotel­nik seems in no hurry to make the first defence of his ti­tle and Jewish star Salita, who lives in Brook­lyn, has been of­fered the fight with San­tana, based in Span­ish Har­lem, at the Theatre in Madi­son Square Gar­den.

Both fight­ers have big eth­nic fol­low­ings and 27-year-old Salita, un­beaten in 29 fights, said: “I al­ways wanted this fight and I hope it hap­pens.”

There are hard feel­ings be­tween the pair from the time they were both trained by Hec­tor Rocha.

Salita, an­noyed by claims that he had been duck­ing his for­mer gym mate, said: “San­tana was cool when we were un­der Rocha. He came up to my camp and I never charged him any money. He ate my food and slept in the bed that I paid for.

“I dropped San­tana one time in spar­ring and Hec­tor told me to work with him be­cause he wanted him to re­gain his con­fi­dence. So I did, then I hear all of this non­sense on the net about me which re­ally made me up­set.”

San­tana holds a re­cent im­pres­sive three-round vic­tory over Grover Wi­ley, who Salita strug­gled to out­point last year.

But the Jewish fighter stated: “I don’t have much re­spect for San­tana. I will de­stroy him in the ring for all the things his team has said.”

In a mes­sage to San­tana he added: “Be care­ful what you wish for ‘cause you just might get it.”

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