Dmitriy Salita is a former fighter turned promotor and has fighters like Jarrell Miller, Otto Wallin – who cut Tyson Fury’s eye badly – and world champion Claressa Shields in his stable.
Salita trained and sparred for many years alongside Floyd Mayweather and gave his take on the Logan Paul bout, claiming it’s “ not a boxing match, it’s an exciting event and victory tour for Floyd” and that even if Mayweather loses, it would not “impede his legacy”. He also compares it to when Muhammad Ali fought a wrestler in Japan.
Also, in the early noughties and after losing to Amir Khan, American Salita travelled to the renowned Kronk gym in Detroit – seeking advice from one of the world’s greatest trainers, the late Emmanuel Steward.
Steward was in demand so instead his nephew, Sugar Hill Steward – current trainer of Tyson Fury – worked with Salita. Tyson Fury, also seeking the advice of the Stewards, walked into the Kronk around the same time. Salita recounts:
Meeting Tyson for the first time
Why Sugar Hill has made Tyson Fury “unbeatable”
Why he expects Fury to knockout AJ
What is your take on your former training partner Floyd Mayweather’s fight with Youtuber Logan Paul?
“Floyd is one of the greatest fighters of all time and this is a victory tour. Floyd deserves to do whatever he wants to do. This is entertainment, this is fun, I don’t think anyone is going to get hurt. It’s an exciting way for sports fans and Youtube fans to get a taste of boxing and pull in more people to the sport.
“The great thing about Floyd having trained with him for several years: Floyd always stays in shape and Paul seems like an athletic guy. There’s a significant weight difference, so it’s not a boxing match, it’s an exciting event.”
Is Mayweather vs Paul good or bad for boxing?
“This is nothing new, Muhammad Ali fought a wrestler in Japan. The sports world in general is changing. These types of matches don’t take away from the sport of boxing. Let’s say he loses to Logan Paul, I don’t think that will impede his legacy.
“This to me is acceptable and exciting and I’m really interested. Logan has a platform to crossover boxing into places it hasn’t been before. It’s kind of like Mayweather-Mcgregor, a little different because Paul isn’t a combat guy, but it’s a similar out of the box concept.”
Tell us about when Tyson Fury first arrived at the Kronk
“Tyson knew who I was because he had just fought Amir Khan in England. He was a very nice guy. I said to him, ‘man, your name is Tyson Fury’ your parents must have envisioned you’d be a boxing champion and we laughed about it. He was a cool guy.
“When he first came he wasn’t built like the other guys you see at the Kronk Gym, I didn’t really think much of him at the beginning. But as the days went by he got better and better, and I remember coming in one day and he was dominating one of the names in our gym.
“He was very dedicated and a hard worker, Emmanuel predicted he’d be one of the best of the current generation and it’s come true.”
How has Sugar Hill and the Kronk boxing style transformed Tyson Fury?
“Kronk is pretty simple, it’s really a lot of emphasis on the basics. I would say Kronk boxing is a combination of the best elements of the European stand up style, with the improvisation, rhythm, balance and emphasis on power punching of the American style of boxing.
“It combines both of those elements to deliver the best result. At the Kronk we always look for knockouts, but it comes in a natural type of way. So for sure Tyson Fury is going to go out and try to knock Anthony Joshua out. Tyson Fury is a big favourite against Anthony Joshua and he’s going to keep getting better with Sugar Hill in his corner.
“Sugar Hill’s Kronk boxing style is perfect for Tyson Fury. The system of boxing is perfect for him, he’s a great fighter for the system – he’s a born fighter with a very strong mind. He beat Klitchko at his peak, so he’s a tremendous, rare talent.
“That, combined with the skills learnt with Sugar Hill makes him unbeatable, or as close to unbeatable as you can come. Their philosophy on boxing is very similar, in terms of the aggression and the go-get ‘em style, and both Sugar Hill and Tyson share a passion to be the best in a natural way, being who they are. They align in and outside of the ring in terms of combat.”