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Dmitriy Salita Reminded That The Fight Business Is A Rough One

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It’s not easy being a boxer.

Duh.

We know that, right? I mean, we know it as well as we can without getting in that ring, and eating those punches, and peeing that blood days after a bout. Never mind the months upon months of training, the double session workouts, the injuries that pop up that must be worked through. Oh, and never mind the occasionally infuriating business side of the sport, which has driven many a man to say hell with it, this ain’t worth it, almost as often as taking punches does.

On second thought, it seems like we, on the other side, the outside, really don’t very well know what it’s like to be the boxer. I confess I really don’t know what Dmitriy Salita (age 30; 35-1-1 with 18 KOs) is feeling today, though it feels to me like he is close to saying, ‘Hell with it, this ain’t worth it.’

The Brooklyn-based boxer had a fight set Feb. 9 against Hector Camacho Jr., and was quite excited about it. A win, especially a conclusive one, would put him a step closer to the bigger stages. He’d had the massive spotlight on him back in 2009, when given a chance to fight Amir Khan, but that didn’t end well, with him being knocked out in round one. He’s been doing a slow climb back up the ladder, and a win over a name like Camacho would have been a nice scalp. The bout was put off, though, when the Feb. 9 Barclays Center headliner, Danny Garcia, hurt his ribs in training. The whole card was pushed to April 27, so Garcia could heal and finally face off with Zab Judah. Salita was under the impression that his junior welterweight catchweight fight with Camacho would also be part of the April 27 show, until Feb. 21. That’s when he read on ESPN.com that his fight with Camacho was kaput. Camacho was “moving on,” according to Golden Boy’s Richard Schaefer. The story said that Camacho in fact didn’t pull out, and that he and Salita wanted the bout still. He said he was told that Salita didn’t want the fight.

Hmm. Sounded like a royal case of miscommunication to me. I reached out the Schaefer to clarify on Feb. 25, and was told he was not available for comment.

Meanwhile, Camacho’s promoter released a statement about the cancellation:

Zeferino Ramirez, the President of Zeferino Entertainment has made the
following official statement regarding a recent article on ESPN about
the scrapping of the Dmitriy Salita vs Hector Camacho Jr fight.

Official Statement from Zeferino Entertainment

I read the article posted February 21st at 1:06pm on ESPN by Dan Rafael
and honestly it made me sick. All the false and negative comments about
my fighter Camacho Jr. need to be addressed. Here is our version of
events: Schaefer (Richard) from Golden Boy Promotions states the
Salita-Camacho fight was off and would not be rescheduled. Further,
Schaefer states that “Camacho is not going to fight. The card was
postponed and then he was moving on.”

I (Zeferino Entertainment) made a multi-fight deal with Golden Boy
Promotions and this was to be Camacho Jr.’s first fight in the
multi-fight deal. Why in the world would Camacho Jr., pull out of a
winnable fight like Salita? We respect Salita, but he is not on Camacho
Jr.’s level.

I was contacted by Golden Boy and told that due to Salita’s religious
beliefs (Salita is Jewish) that Salita could not properly warm-up
before the fight. This was due to Salita not leaving his house at a
certain time before the fight, therefore Salita was pulling out of the
Fight. I am Jewish (so please let us not jump on the prejudice wagon),
that is simply what I was told by Golden Boy. Then I read the Salita
article and Salita states: “I never told anyone at Golden Boy anything
resembling that. Come get it April 27th, Junior. I have been back from
camp and staying in shape in New York before heading out soon to
prepare for April (in Detroit).”

Zeferino Entertainment and Team Camacho Jr. told Golden Boy Promotions
and the Salita camp we welcome the fight come April 27th . Camacho
wants the fight with Salita and Camacho Jr. stated: “Come get it
Salita. I will KNOCK YOU OUT PUERTO RICAN STYLE.” That is if Golden Boy
really wants us to fight Salita? It is my belief that Golden Boy
realized Camacho Jr. will be victorious.

So, if team Salita really wants this fight then tell your promoter
Golden Boy to make it happen. As a fighter you can demand the fight
with Camacho Jr. However, Salita if this fight does not happen, then
the world will know the real reason. It is time to stop the talking and
get to fighting. You can also contact me directly if you are willing to
take the fight. Reach me at zef_entertainment@yahoo.com.

Then, Salita and Camacho crafted an open letter:

?BROOKLYN, NY (February 25, 2013) – Dear Friends, Fans and Boxing Community,??As all of you know, we were scheduled to fight each other February 9th, 2013, part of World Championship Boxing broadcast on Showtime from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Both of us were, and still very motivated to prepare ourselves for victory and give fans what they want. We worked hard in our respective training camps, did the miles on the road and put in countless rounds of sparring getting ready for this crossroads fight. ??

Due to circumstances beyond our control the show got postponed because of an injury sustained by main event fighter Danny Garcia. Golden Boy made a public statement that the whole card will get rescheduled to April 27th. While both of us were extremely disappointed we saw the light at the end of a three-month tunnel. ??Sometimes in life, and too often in boxing, things do not hold true and the wrong thing can happen. This is one such moment. Either by mistake, or by design, contradictory stories have emerged to cancel our fight.

??On Thursday, February 21st, Dan Rafael published a story on ESPN.COM stating that Camacho Jr pulled out of the fight. After hearing the news Mr. Camacho contacted Dan Rafael to let him know that no such withdrawal was ever made. He stated that the promoter told him that Dmitriy Salita pulled out due to the Jewish holiday of Passover, which was also false. Both fighters signed the contract and both still very much want the fight yet the fight is still canceled. ??This is hurtful to the sport and unfair to the athletes. We put in the hard work and made a commitment to the promoter to put our life on hold to prepare and put on a show.

As professional athletes we dedicate our lives and sacrificed many things including family to get us in the optimum condition to be at our best for the fans. Now we come to find out that the fight is cancelled and our dedication has gone to waste. ??Our fight was to be the first New York City rivalry set to take place at the new Barclays Center. We are ready to put on a great fight for the fans on April 27th and ask them to continue to support us and for the promoter to honor our contract and our hard work. ??

Sincerely, ????Dmitriy Salita and Hector Camacho Jr.

The situation, Salita tells me, stands. The fight is off. He is, to put it mildly, bummed out. “We both signed a contract, I thought that is a commitment for all parties involved,” Salita said. “It’s not right what is happening. I trained too long and to hard. I feel like I wasted four months of my life. Boxing is not a hobby, it’s how I make a living and provide for my family. I am not sure what to make of this. This makes me have really negative feelings towards the business of boxing. In no other major sport would something like this be allowed to happen. I have not gotten a lot of good opportunities in my career. I am a pro athlete and this is how I make my living. Would it be possible in any other profession to show up for work for four months and then be told that your fired and we can no longer pay you?”

Good point. Typically, I am pretty sure, a promoter holds the right to cancel a bout if a show is cancelled for any reason whatsoever. It would make sense, moving forward, for fighters to request contractual language which better protects them in such cases, and I’m not sure if this is even feasible, but in fact, get paid a “kill fee,” a portion of the lost purse, for their trouble. Salita’s right: these guys train their tails off, waiting for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and then the pot of gold is yanked away, and they get nothing for their trouble. Legal eagles, do you think this “kill fee” language is something that could be viable? Weigh in, in our Forum.

I was going to put it out there, and ask another promoter to pick up this fight, so these guys could finish what they started, but it looks like Camacho has moved on. Salita is left behind. Anyone else have a fight for him? Email me at Fightwrite@gmail.com if yes.

The fighting life isn’t an easy one, to put it mildly, and for more reasons than many of us outsiders realize. Moving forward, I hope all of us pause regularly to consider the rigors these fighters put themselves through, the sacrifices they make, and make darned sure they are treated with the complete dignity and respect they deserve.

 

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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