Salita: Detroit an easy choice for boxing series
Promoter Dmitriy Salita says the choice to base his new series of live fights in Detroit was an easy one to make. “Detroit is America’s great comeback city and boxing fans love a comeback,” said Salita. “This city has some of the best homegrown boxers in the country and the world and we plan to highlight those talents throughout this series. I thought it was a natural to run consistent high-class show here. Detroit and the State of Michigan, as a whole, have a rich boxing culture: The boxing fans here will respond positively. And for the local up-and-comers, they will have a place close to home to build a fan base.”
Called the “Detroit Brawl,” the series will kick off at the iconic Masonic Temple in Downtown Detroit on Saturday, February 6. Featured that night will be Detroit’s James Gordon Smith (8-0, 5 KOs), Ed Williams (10-1-1, 4 KOs), James Ballard (5-0, 2 KOs), and Antonio Wade (1-0, 1 KO), as well as former world title challenger and currently world-ranked cruiserweight Junior Wright of Chicago (14-1-1, 11 KOs), undefeated Dominican Eudy Bernardo (20-0, 14 KOs), Brooklyn’s Dimash Niyazov (8-0-3, 4 KOs) and the professional debut of Turkmenistan’s former Asian Games Amateur Champion, Serdar Hudayberdiyev.
Though he is Ukraine-born and Brooklyn-raised, Salita has a long history with the area, having trained here since early in his fighting career. “I’ve been coming to Detroit for six years, to train at the Kronk Gym with EmanuelSteward and Sugar Hill, his nephew,” explained Salita. “I got a chance firsthand to see the Detroit boxing culture and witness its tremendous talent!
“At the time I started boxing, the Starrett City Boxing Club was run by Jimmy O’Pharrow. It was one of the best gyms in New York City. It produced some of the best fighters in the world today. We all came up together and had ‘fights of the year’ sparring sessions almost every night. The competitive nature of those sparring sessions are what made me so successful in boxing, and when I came here to the Kronk gym I witnessed that same atmosphere.
“I like that this show has several of Detroit’s up-and-coming stars and boxers from different places around the world as well. Junior Wright is world-ranked and one of the best cruiserweights in the world. He’s looking to get back to another world title shot. Eudy Bernardo, an undefeated lightweight prospect from the Dominican Republic, is looking to rise to the top of the division. And the Detroit fighters are some of the best including James Ballard, Eddie Williams and James Gordon Smith, a former national champion in the amateurs. Antonio Wade is another hot prospect from the Detroit area. We’ve also got Asian games gold medalist Serdar Hudayberdiyev making his pro debut. He’s already the greatest fighter his country has ever produced. People are flying out from Turkmenistan to see the fight. I’m very excited about this show and for the future of boxing in this great city!”
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Tickets for “Detroit Brawl” are priced at $28, $38, $48, $63, $93, and $123 and are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com, by calling 800-745-3000, or by visiting the Masonic Temple box office. For event information visit themasonic.com and SalitaPromotions.com.