Salita positions himself for shot at title

PRIMM -- It wasn't easy, as evidenced by the numerous welts on his face, but Dmitriy Salita took care of business Sunday. Now, he waits.

The super lightweight from Brooklyn, N.Y., by way of the Ukraine improved to 30-0-1 after gaining a 10-round unanimous decision over Raul Munoz. Salita, the WBA's No. 1 mandatory challenger for the title, will be watching when Amir Khan and Andriy Kotelnik square off June 27 in London. Salita will get the winner, probably late this year.

"He was a heavy guy. I could feel it, especially on the inside," said Salita, who was ahead 100-90 with judges Dick Houck and Robert Hoyle and 99-91 on Jerry Roth's scorecard. "But it's good to get this fight behind me. I hope I can get back in the ring soon and fight for the title."

Salita was the featured attraction on a combined boxing-mixed martial arts card at the Star of the Desert Arena that drew approximately 600. But he found himself in a tougher fight than he expected.

Munoz, a veteran of 32 pro fights, made Salita work. He had an effective jab, scoring with both hands and constantly tagging Salita in the face.

Salita was trying to work the body, then go upstairs. But Munoz showed a good chin, and he fought a smart fight for the most part.

But he also took a lot of punishment.

Salita got stronger as the fight went on. He last had fought Nov. 11, and it took him awhile to find his rhythm. But by the late rounds, Salita's jab was on target, and his combinations were more effective.

"The idea was to get the cobwebs out," Salita said. "I've been out of the ring longer than I wanted to be. It took me awhile, but I finally got my rhythm going, and I felt like I was in control."

Salita said he'd like to be on the Khan-Kotelnik undercard in London, but he said no matter what happens, he's not going to wait six months to fight again.

"I need to stay busy, stay sharp," he said.

In the card's other fight, bantamweights Jose Pacheco and Mario Gonzalez met for the second time in five weeks, and the result was the same as April 17, with Pacheco (2-5-6) winning a four-round unanimous decision over Gonzalez (0-2).

In the MMA portion of the card, Patrick Dixon of Reno got off the mat in the first round to score a technical knockout over Josh Downing of Las Vegas in their 175-pound bout. A well-timed right knee to the chin dropped Downing (1-1), and Dixon (2-2) finished him off in 3:13.

Las Vegas' Eric Uresk improved to 3-3 after winning a three-round unanimous decision over Reno's Leland Gridley (2-6) in their 145-pound bout, and Jonathan Mix of Las Vegas stopped Pete Baker 43 seconds into the first round of their 155-pound bout, as Baker (2-4) tapped out after Mix (3-3) put him in a rear naked choke.

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@ or 702-387-2913.