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Jewish Boxer May Be Played By Eminem

No, really, and in a Jerry Bruckheimer movie

Dan Klein
October 27, 2010

Journalists have a phrase: “Burying the lede.” What does that mean? Let’s explain by way of example: Yesterday, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that Dmitriy Salita, the Orthodox Jewish boxer, fresh off a win, will be fighting for a welterweight belt (which he lost late last year) in Manhattan in December. Headline: “Salita Promoting His Title Fight.” And most of the article is about that, until the final paragraph, which reads: “The Ukraine-born Salita is training in Detroit with Boxing Hall of Famer Emanuel Steward, who recently gave some boxing lessons to Eminem. The rapper-actor was preparing to play Salita in a Walt Disney film titled Knockout.”

Wait, what??

It’s true, Salita confirms. The film has been in the works since around 2003, he said, when Greg Alan Howard, writer of Remember the Titans, “contacted myself and my mentor Jimmy O. He was interested in my story, spent time with Jimmy and I and wrote the screenplay for it.” The real Slim Shady is indeed rumored to play Salita, and, according to Salita, also trained with Steward for the role. The movie will apparently follow Salita up to the age of 19, when the rabbi-in-training won the Golden Gloves and Sugar Ray Robinson awards. The rights have been acquired by Disney’s Jerry Bruckheimer, who has produced a few small, independent flicks like Armageddon, Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Rock.

The other news for fans of “The Star of David” is that, yes, he will be promoting his own bout against former world champion “Mighty” Mike Anchondo (30-3). The two men will fight for the world welterweight title on December 16th in Times Square’s Roseland Ballroom. Also on the card is Nelson Boyd and the Israeli Ilan Kedem, and Matisyahu will perform a special entrance song live.

Salita told me that he is “very excited for the upcoming fight on many levels” and called Anchondo a “very good fighter and hard challenge for me.” He’s preparing for the challenge at Kronk’s gym in Detroit, which he likes for “the very nice Jewish community and … beautiful downtown.” Um, is he really in Detroit?