It’s been nearly four years since this segment was done on Dimitry Salita, the ba’al teshuva boxer (incidentally managed by his Chabad shaliach), otherwise known as the “Star of David.” Since its airing, Salita has remained undefeated, scoring 15 knockouts among his 26 victories. Despite his success, Salita’s been somewhat neglected as a fighter, thus far having been denied the chance to rise above his status as junior welterweight champion.
But perhaps that’s about to change. ESPN says he’s long overdue for a shot at the big leagues.
In the weird world of pugilism, where promotional spark is three-quarters of the battle, I have a theory. As long as Salita remains undefeated, his handlers and matchmakers can assure themselves a gate by hyping the story line of Great Jewish Hope en route to the top. It’s a guaranteed money maker: while Jewish people often struggle when it comes to slugging a baseball or dunking or knocking out a bully, we worship the chosen few among us who can.
[…] But now, it’s time. When Salita inevitably defeats Wiley for his 27th win, he deserves — needs — a big fight. Give him Arturo Gatti. Give him Ricardo Torres. Heck, give him Ricky Hatton.
Yeah, maybe he’ll lose.
But at least he’ll no longer be Dmitriy Salita, the Jewish fighter.
He’ll be Dmitriy Salita, the boxer.