‘Franklin can go all the way,’ insists Salita
BOXING DMITRIY Salita, whose own world title dream ended in a 76-second defeat by Amir Khan in Newcastle in 2009, has his sights set on boxing’s heavyweight crown with his latest signing Jermaine Franklin.
Now 36 and on the safe side of the ropes, the Ukrainian-born Jewish former fighter, who challenged Khan for the WBA light-welterweight title, has moved from New York to Detroit where he is operating out of the Kronk gym which trained greats including Thomas Hearns.
Salita is already guiding one world champion - double women’s Olympic winner Claressa Shields — from the new premises of the gym made famous by his former trainer Emanuel Steward. Now he believes unbeaten Franklin can take the heavyweight division by storm.
With 17 wins - 13 by knockout - 25-yearold Franklin has turned to Salita Promotions to guide him on the rest of a journey which he believes will see him as a serious contender to rival world champions Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder.
“I have watched Jermaine for the last two years and I’ve seen his desire, dedication and commitment to the sport,” said Salita. “His boxing record speaks for itself and it’s an honour to add him to my promotional stable.
“Jermaine is the best American heavyweight Dmitriy Salita prospect in boxing and he’s just a few fights away from being a familiar name for fans. He has the pedigree to be the next great heavyweight fighter.”
Salita, who moved from New York to Michigan in 2015 when his wife, Alona, was accepted to the State’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, is confident he can take Franklin all the way. “There are some great heavyweights like Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua putting the division back on top. I want to be right there with them,” he said.
Franklin passed up the opportunity to chase a place on the 2016 USA Olympic team to turn professional and he says: “I want to raise the competition in the heavyweight division.”
British boxer Tony Milch is scheduled to return to the ring for the first time since February in a bout at Lee Valley Sports Centre next weekend.