Ego Friendly Interview with Dmitriy Salita

Dmitriy Salita’s story is a classic American tale of triumph over adversity. Coming from Russia at the age of nine to escape violence against Jews in his homeland, Salita soon found the hard life on the streets of Brooklyn didn’t differ as much as he thought from his life in Russia. Dmitriy joined Jimmy O’Pharrow’s Starrett City Boxing Club at the age of 13 and has never looked back.
As an amateur, Salita won many coveted titles (including a pair of New York Golden Gloves) and fought some heavily contested fights. As a pro he has held the light welterweight championship of North America and had streaks of 28 straight wins.
Dmitriy took a break from his training and celebration over his September 1st victory against Franklin Gonzalez to answer our ten questions.

Ego Friendly: As a successful and hard working athlete how do you actualize your dreams?

Training

Dmitriy Salita: I actualize my dreams by staying focused on my goals.  There are difficulties on the road to success, I have to stay motivated and believe in my talent and work hard through the difficulties that can come my way.

EF: What are the greatest obstacles you have faced in doing this?

DS: I had many obstacles in my career. I had the challenge of staying with boxing when my mother passed away; that was the greatest challenge.  As I progressed in my career I had difficulties in getting fights I wanted and did not have the opportunity to be as active as I wanted.  I always believed, through all my difficulties, that my time would come- I just had to work hard and do my best to make the right possibilities happen.

EF: When facing an opponent do you just start and let the rhythm “find” itself or do you plan meticulously to “discover” what you want to do?

DS: My success as a boxer comes from my rhythm, when I am in peak shape the rhythm finds itself and I am ready to execute my fight plan.,

EF: What is your overall goal, as a person in the spotlight?

DS: I believe that people have to believe and purse their dreams through hard work.

EF: What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done, as a boxer or “just” as a person?

With trainer Jimmy O'Pharrow

DS: The most courageous thing that I have done was to decide not to fight on the Sabbath as an amateur in the US championships.  The schedule was never changed before; I was close to being disqualified.  All though I won the US championships I had to stay home for the world cup because of my decision.  I feel that keeping to my decision helped promote social change for my people.  I immigrated to America  when I was 9 years old and I believe in the American dream and have worked very hard to achieve it.

EF: How do you decide that something is “finished”?

DS: Something is finished, usually, when the the goal set is accomplished. It’s really a personal feeling for the person to decide when something is finished.

EF: What do you think is the most important part of your training?

DS: Staying focused and being able to handle discomfort and pain that comes with hard work.

EF: Please share your favorite bit of wisdom (learned or heard) with us?

DS: ”Who is the strongest person in the world? He who can control himself.” –  Ethics of Our Fathers

EF: When it comes to knowledge, which do you feel is stronger, learned wisdom or inherent sense?

DS: I think both are important, but wisdom comes from experience.  There is no substitute for experience.

EF: Are you able to look past this next fight and plan for your future or is it one step at a time?

DS: I have short and long term plans, it is one step at a time but the bigger picture is what keeps me focused and working hard.

One Response to “Ego Friendly Interview with Dmitriy Salita”

  1. Beth says:

    Very inspiring story. I enjoyed the video. When is Dmitriy’s next fight?

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