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Champion Chabad boxer Dmitriy Salita visits Hebron

By David Wilder
12/13/2009, 12:00 AM


Dmitriy Salita at Beit Hadassah in Hebron

Sparring with Michael Pollack

At Ma'arat HaMachpela

Outside Beit Shneerson - home of Menucha Rochel Slonin, in Hebron

A sensational welterweight prospect, Dimitriy is a sharp, accurate puncher with good handspeed. After he moved to Brooklyn, Dmitriy was exposed to orthodox Judaism and became an observant Jew. He strictly follows Jewish law – if he has a fight on a Saturday, it must begin after sundown, the end of the sabbath. Dmitriy said, “Anyone who wants a good whuppin’ from me is just going to have to wait until sundown.” There are as many as 70 Jewish holy days on which he will not fight, and he follows Jewish dietary laws. When he’s training, he stays within walking distance of a synagogue for Friday and Saturday services – he’s not allowed to drive on the sabbath. 

Promoter Bob Arum said, “If he’s as good as it appears he is, and he can be held up as an example of religious devotion to both Jews and gentiles, he’ll be a great attraction.” 

Dmitriy said, “I will never compromise my beliefs. Never. It’s not a question. I have a personal relationship with God that I won’t compromise. My boxing is such a big part of my life, but it won’t get in the way of my religion. It can’t, and it won’t.” 

Dmitriy said, “I enjoy being different. People are surprised at how good the white, Jewish kid is, surprised that I can fight. I take that as a compliment.”