When Dmitriy “Star of David” Salita takes on Gabriel Bracero in a welterweight match at the Aviator Sports and Events Center in Brooklyn on Nov. 9, Bill Caplan will be ringside. A boxing fan since his age was calculated in single digits, the 78-year-old San Fernando Valley resident will also be there because it’s his job.
Orthodox Jewish boxer Dmitriy Salita scored a knockout in the third round to take the vacant New York State welterweight title.
Harking back to an era when Jews ruled the ring, two devoutly observant boxers are fighting to make this the best year for Jewish boxing in seven decades.
The era of Jewish boxers -- tough guys from the ghettos, like Benny Leonard and Barney Ross -- is over. For that matter, the era of boxing itself, once king of all American sports, has passed, as well. In that regard, Dmitriy Salita is doubly a throwback, being both Jewish and a boxer, with an added twist: As a practicing Orthodox Jew, he does not fight on the Sabbath. What normally might be a potentially fatal limitation for a boxer (many fights are scheduled for weekend nights) has proved to be a public relations bonanza for this undefeated junior welterweight, now the star of Jason Hutt's documentary film, "Orthodox Stance," opening April 11 in Los Angeles.
Dmitriy Salita doesn't fight on the Sabbath, which gives his competition a much-needed day of rest from this powerful junior welterweight.