Monday, December 05, 2022  |


WBA intended for Salita to fight for interim title


A letter sent by the WBA to Golden Boy Promotions indicates that the sanctioning body approved of an interim junior welterweight title fight between Dmitry Salita and Victor Ortiz, with the winner to face the winner of a fight between belt holder Andreas Kotelnik and Amir Khan for the real title.

Salita, ranked No. 1, declined to take part in that fight in part because he believes he’s next in line to fight the Kotenik-Khan winner and shouldn’t have to face No. 3 Ortiz, who is promoted by Golden Boy. In fact, Salita believes he, not Khan should be fighting Kotelnik but the WBA agreed to push back the mandatory due date.

Thus, No. 2-ranked Marcos Maidana, who lost to Kotelnik in February, will face Ortiz for the interim title on June 27, the same date Kotelnik faces Khan.

The Panama-based WBA said in the letter, dated April 16 and signed by Championship Committee Chairman Gilberto Mendoza Jr., that the interim title fight between Salita and Ortiz “will allow an opportunity for all parties involved to maintain activity and also earn more recognition within the fans and media being broadcast by a major network.”

However, HBO wasn’t interested in the Salita-Ortiz, according to Salita. The network will be broadcasting the Ortiz-Maidana fight.

The letter goes on to state that “the winner of Salita v. Ortiz will be considered the official challenger of the division and shall fight the winner of Kotelnik v. Khan in a period no longer than 90 days starting from June 26, 2009.”

Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy, said he spoke to John Wirt, CEO of Roy Jones Jr.'s Square Ring Promotions, Salita’s promoter, and was told by Wirt that he hadn’t received the letter from the WBA.

Wirt told that the WBA indicated to him in writing that Salita would fight the winner of Kotelnik and Khan.

“That’s not what the WBA told us,” said Wirt, referring to the contents of the letter. “I hope that’s not accurate. We fight the winner of Khan and Kotelnik. They’re [Golden Boy] after us.”

Wirt was out of the country and unavailable for further comment. And Salita’s lawyer, Kurt Emhoff, did not immediately return phone calls.

Schaefer said Salita is deserving of an opportunity to fight for the title and will get his shot if he’s patient.

Regardless, Salita (30-0-1, 16 knockouts) feels he’s being bullied and says he'll fight any ruling that deprives him of his title shot.

“They’re a big company,” he said of Golden Boy. “They’re trying to bend the rules. They’re trying to kick everyone to the side and get their way, rules or no rules.

Michael Rosenthal can be reached at [email protected]