Can Salita Halt The Khan Roadshow?
Great Britain’s WBA light-welter champ Amir Khan, 21-1(16) will fight the biggest fight of his pro career on December 5th in Newcastle, England, when he faces the very durable New Yorker Dmitriy Salita, 30-0-1(16), in what will be Khan’s first defense of the trinket he won in July by outpointing Ukrainian Andriy Kotelnik.
Khan vs. Salita Preview
Salita (also born in the Ukraine, now residing in Brooklyn) will be a huge underdog in what is fair to say an extremely long overdue title challenge (remember Salita won the NABA light-welter title way back in August 05 with a 9th round TKO of Shawn Gallegos). Salita is a solid technical boxer, does the fundamentals well and of course is undefeated, but does he posses the tools to dethrone Khan in the champs backyard?
Speed kills and Khan has speed in abundance. This will be a major factor in determining the fight’s outcome. Whether Salita can cope with Khan moving in and out with precise combinations remains to be seen.
Khan’s career has been guided thus far by Britain’s most successful promoter Frank Warren. Apart from the one obvious blip, a 54 second KO at the hands of Breidis Prescott, (ironically Prescott will fight London’s Kevin Mitchell on the undercard) Khan’s career has been guided impeccably.
Team Khan’s best decision to date has been in relocating to Hollywood’s Wild Card gym under the tutelage of the revered Freddie Roach. Roach has worked his magic by changing Khan from the chin in the air, hands low fighter of the Prescott bout, to the world champion we see before us today, although a lot of credit has to also go to Alex Ariza. As strength and conditioning coach, Ariza is responsible for the physical improvements in Khan, who is now a much stronger fighter of the Khan of a year ago.
This leads us to the question of punch resistance. Khan has been criticized in the past for having a glass jaw, most notably for the way he was KO’d by Prescott. We have to remember however, the left threw by Prescott that night could have knocked out a Himalayan yak. Salita has been down himself a few times early on in fights and it’s no big secret that he is a slow starter. Therefore if Khan jumps in early he might leave himself open and with question marks over his own chin, don’t be surprised if we see an early knockdown or two.
All things said Khan should be too fast, too strong and ultimately too good for what will be a very determined Salita, so if I was a betting man (which I very much am) I see the referee stepping in to rescue Salita from taking any more unnecessary punishment late in the fight and Amir Khan successfully defending the WBA title for the very first time.
Khan vs. Salita Prediction
Verdict Khan TKO 10