You wanna make a million bucks? I got a plan for you! It’s simple! Get into the boxing promotion business. Yep! You will have one million dollars after a year or two, after you work your ass off.
Want to get started?
Ok, then put two million dollars on the table, to get you started.
And after a year or so, you will have one million dollars!
The above scenario is jokingly presented but has more than a minor element of truth attached to it. More than merely minor if you do business, as does Dmitriy Salita, largely in the New York region. But the 33 year old, most baby-faced guy in that realm has spit in the face of the odds and has inched and edged his way up the promotional ladder. Proof comes with a ShoBox date that Salita Promotions is heading up, on April 15, at Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY.
It’s something of a graduation ceremony. The guy who puts on the “Brooklyn Brawl” series and now the “Detroit Brawl” series, the second installment of which unfolds May 15, is hitting fancier territory.
No, getting a ShoBox date doesn’t elevate you to the Bob Arum, Oscar De La Hoya or Lou Dibella plank of dealmakers, but it gets you a step closer.
Salita has an understanding of work ethic and the import of perseverance as vital traits to success. He accumulated a 35-2-1 record as a pro and advanced to getting a 140 pound little shot against Amir Khan. He needed to stay focused and not get seasick as the inevitable waves, up and down and all around, tossed him around on his rise up the ladder. On the ShoBox date, he’s working with veteran promoter Barry Halbritter, who has worked with most of the eminent graybeards and gives young Salita high marks for professionalism.
Salita is getting a rep as a guy who understands the entire planet is the base for scouting talent. Nikolay Potapov (14-0 bantamweight) from Russia is his headliner April 15, and last week he heralded another addition to the stable, 122er Vladimir Tikhonov, also born in Russia.
Salita also handles Jarrell Miller, a Brooklyn heavyweight who fights on CBS cable May 27, along with promoter Greg Cohen. Other bright bulbs on the Salita marquee include Kazahk welter Bakhtiyer Eubov; Dominican lightweight Eudy Bernardo; Russian cruiser Alexey Zubov, all three fighting on the ShoBox. He also reps world class Chicago cruiser Junior Wright and Bronx middleweight hammerfist Steve Martinez, among others.
I asked Showtime’s Gordon Hall, the executive producer of ShoBox, who is thoroughly esteemed for being all in in this endeavor and giving his heart to the matter, about Salita’s rise.
“This will be Dmitry’s first show on ShoBox. We had many conversations within the last year discussing his fighters and the criteria of ShoBox,” Hall said. “So far, he has done everything that would be expected. He has undefeated fighters who were good amateurs and solid pro prospects, and he is not afraid to match his kids tough.
“All promoters have to fit the criteria of ShoBox and Dimitry has done a great job so far. The card has eight fighters with combined records of 117-1-2, 74 kos.
“Now we will see if his fighters can past the test.”
To an extent, Salita already has. Getting to this point, this fast, in this region, where the costs of doing business are beyond onerous, he has made massive strides. I must disclose, I root for him, as I do blow by blow on most of his shows and consider him a boxing friend.
I let him have final say.
“I am greatful to Gordon Hall and the Showtime family for giving this opportunity,” Salita said. “I have talented fighters who I believe are some of the best in the world. Most importantly they believe it and put their gloves where their mouth is and are willing to challenge undefeated fighters in their ShoBox debut. Every fighter in each televised bout April 15 will fight the best fighter they ever faced. Every fighter on this show is coming to win and believe they will win, that goes for my fighters and their opponents. That’s the kind of boxing fans want to see on TV and many times you get the most exciting fights in these kind of prospect vs prospect match-ups. These are fighters with world-class professional skills and incredible ambition, and this is their first real chance to make a name for themselves in meaningful fights. I’m happy and proud to be involved. Only in America, Mike Woods!”