Boxing


Amir Khan-Dmitry Salita Looks Likely For December - Can Khan Keep His Belt?

by James Slater - Now that talk of a possible Amir Khan-John Murray fight has proven to have been premature, it looks as though WBA light-welterweight champ Khan will meet his mandatory challenger Dmitry Salita in either early or mid December; probably in London. A tough first defence for the 22-year-old from Bolton, Khan-Salita could conceivably go either way..

Unbeaten 27-year-old Salita, born in Ukraine and now living in Brooklyn New York, is a very talented operator who has an excellent work rate and also possesses hand speed to perhaps rival the WBA champion's. Not only is the likely fight a good match-up of proven talent at pro level, the 140-pound clash will also pit two superb amateurs going at one another.

Khan, as we know, captured a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics, and Salita fought in the Junior Olympics, the Golden Gloves and the U.S national amateur championships. Both young fighters have learnt their trade very well, that's for sure. Salita has fought his entire pro career at a weight no lower than 140-pounds, and some of his fights were fought as high as 146-pounds - as a result he could prove to be the stronger man physically.

Also, the concern with Khan, 21-1(15) will always be about his chin. Though the 22-year-old looked great in beating Andreas Kotelnik to take the WBA strap back in July, fans have not yet forgotten about the devastating KO loss Khan suffered at the hands of Breidis Prescott. Salita, at 30-0-1(16) is not a monster puncher by any means, but he is a hard worker who is aggressive and relentless. Four of Salita's last five bouts went the distance, and Khan will certainly be his biggest named foe to date though.

A pro since June of 2001, Salita has fought a number of bouts in Las Vegas and more recently New York, although he has fought in Puerto Rico before as well. The December fight will be the first one in Europe for the man who goes by the moniker of "The Star of David." So, with home advantage along with the enormous confidence that comes with becoming a new world champion on his side, will Khan be able to hold onto his title?

A good, evenly-matched contest on paper, Khan Vs. Salita looks a definite distance fight to me (although Khan's aforementioned chin has let him down against non-punchers before - Willie Limond, down at lightweight - and it could do so again). Barring any disasters on the part of Khan being caught, however, the younger and slightly faster man should be able to win what will be an exciting and briskly-paced 12-rounder.

It's Khan by close unanimous decision for me.

Article posted on 07.09.2009



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