On his recent visit to Israel, former super lightweight titlist and now boxing promoter Dmitriy Salita visited Maccabi Lod Boxing Gym to show his support for the gym, its diversity and how it helps grow the sport in a country he loves.
Located in a bomb shelter in Lod, Israel, the gym is run by Israeli Boxing Federation CEO Yackov Voloch and is a melting pot of boxers from different communities that train together. Salita arrived in Israel after watching two of the biggest stars in his stable, undefeated champion Claressa Shields and heavyweight Otto Wallin, score victories in Wales on February 5.
“Maccabi Lod Boxing Gym is a prime example of what boxing and sports are all about,” said Salita, who is also a WBC Middle East Ambassador. “Boxing doesn’t know or have boundaries, and all are welcome. It’s a bridge to a lifetime where friendships are formed through a mutual love for the sport of boxing.”
Visiting the Lod Boxing gym, which has produced Israel’s talented national champions Safi Abu Shabaan and Daniel Ilyushonok, brought back a flood of memories for Salita. “I grew up in Starrett City Boxing Club, which was also located in the basement of a parking garage. I felt the same beats of hard work, sweat and music in the Lod basement that I did in Starrett City. Boxing gave me an opportunity to do something with my life and prosper from it. I think it does the same for everyone if you stick with your dreams and believe in yourself.”
While in Israel, Salita also met with former Attorney General and Israeli Boxing Champion Yehudah Weinstein. The pair discussed taking further steps to progress the sport of boxing in the country and continue its place in bringing young men from diverse backgrounds together, a conversation Salita is happy to be a part of.
“I am grateful to be part of an initiative that can improve boxing and build bridges for the youth in Israel,” said Salita. “Through my experience of being a Russian Jewish immigrant in Brooklyn, I used boxing as a tool to learn culture, make lifelong friends in different communities and ultimately pursue my dream of being a champion inside the ring. I see lots of potential and am honored to be involved in this project that can bring about positive change in this very special part of the world.”