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Orthodox Boxer Will Pray, and Then Fight

Dmitry Salita goes for title Saturday night after a minyan

by
Marc Tracy
December 03, 2009

Fight fans should have this upcoming Saturday circled on their calendars: it’s the night Brooklyn’s very own Dmitriy “Star of David” Salita takes on reigning World Boxing Association junior welterweight champion Amir Khan in Newcastle, England. Salita’s fellow Jewish fighter Barney Ross—the subject of Douglas Century’s Nextbook Press biography—ruled the 140-pound weight class in the 1930s, and now Salita thinks it will be his: “I’ve trained very hard to take it and will do whatever is necessary to bring it back home with me,” Salita said of Khan’s belt. (Khan, who is favored, is a Muslim; he has made it clear that he does not consider the match symbolic of a Jewish-Islamic clash.) Salita would not become the first Orthodox Jew to hold a boxing championship belt—Yuri Foreman, who won the junior middleweight title last month, beat Salita to the, er, punch there. Still, Salita is incorporating his observance into his training: a Newcastle rabbi will preside over a pre-fight minyan.

Previously: Barney Ross [Nextbook Press]
In Training

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.

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