‘We are all created in His image’
told me if I didn’t fight I would be disqualified. I wasn’t expected to make it to the semis, but I did. I beat the amateur world champion.
A local reporter asked me if I was ready for the final. I told him I was ready but I couldn’t fight.
“He spoke to US boxing and managed to get the fight moved.”
On the matter of how his fellow-professionals respond to him being religious, he said: “You’d have to ask them. They’ve seen me putting on tefillin, they take it in their stride.
“I grew up in a gym. Since I was a boy, that has been my education. I respect myself and I don’t have problems with anyone. We are all created in the image of God. Every person is valuable.”
The 27-year-old, who is married, plans to arrive in England a couple of weeks before the fight, at the Metro Arena in Newcastle, on Saturday December 5. He will stay in a hotel near the strictly Orthodox community of Gateshead.
His former trainer Jimmy O’Pharrow has declared that “victory is on the cards” for Salita.
Speaking from the Pocono Mountains, in Pennsylvania, where Salita is hill running and boxing, he said: “I’ve had him since he was 13 years old. He’s going to win. It’s on the cards.”
Salita will have another week in Pennsylvania before returning to O’Pharrow’s gym in Brooklyn.
Adding that Salita still needs to bring his weight down, which is currently about 150 lbs, O’Pharrow said: “Overall his training is going very well.”