I’m whiner, not a fighter. But something about Jewish pugilist Dmitriy Salita has me shadowboxing the drapes and attempting one-handed push-ups, he’s so inspiring.
The 24 year-old Ukrainian-born New Yorker is the only Orthodox Jew in the glitzy, bloody world of professional boxing and lays tefillin every day before heading to the gym. He has a strong relationship with a Lubavitch rabbi, doesn’t fight on Fridays and of course, his nutritional counselor makes sure his diet is kosher and designed for optimal performance.
Our boy Dmitriy is fast on his way to becoming the next high-profile Jewish media icon; in fact, Matisyahu opened for him at the NABA championships last August. He attended the Chanukah festivities at the White House this past season, where he stands to the right of President Bush in this photo. No, the naturalized citizen did not take the opportunity to suckerpunch G.W. for his immigration policies.
Jimmy O’Pharret, his mentor the Starret City Boxing Club and the gentleman on the left who looks like he might goose Laura just for kicks, has seen every kind of person hit the ring in his place, but says he’s never seen one like Dmitriy: “Kid looks Russian, prays Jewish and fights black.”
This video feature showcases this articulate and faithful young man who intends to smack down Grover Wiley at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan on March 22. Look for the lightning fists and the Star of David on the shorts.