Boxing

Unbeaten Dimitriy Salita Goes 12 Rounds For First Time, Gets Points Win Over Tough Derrick Campos

by James Slater - Last night, on the under-card of the Calzaghe-Jones fight, unbeaten light-welterweight Ukrainian Dimitriy Salita kept his perfect record in going 12 rounds for the very first time. Giving the New York-based 26-year-old a good argument was 27-year-old Derrick Campos of Kansas. At the end of 12 highly engrossing rounds that were not without action, Salita prevailed by a unanimous decision. A way out of line 120-108 was in no way a true reflection of the action, whereas scores of 117-111 and 115-113 were closer to the mark. Salita improved to 29-0-1(16), Campos fell to 17-6(10). The vacant IBF intercontinental light-welterweight belt was on the line..

Campos, who has never been stopped, came out on the front foot and pretty much remained there all night. Salita, the noticeably taller man, chose to box and move at times, while on other occasions Campos succeeded in bulling him to the ropes and making things hot for him. The Ukrainian used an excellent left jab at times, and also fired some hurtful left hands to both the body and head.

Guilty of holding his hands low at times, the highly touted 26-year-old left himself open. On a few occasions he was hurt and under real pressure. Salita was under fire in the 4th round, and slightly hurt in a corner. However, his slipping on a wet patch made it look worse than it was. Often Campos would finish the round the stronger man, doing his best work in the final few seconds. Salita was in charge more often than not, but in no way did he win by the shut-out one judge said he did.

Campos, despite taking some real hard shots flush to the head as he charged in relentlessly, was constantly game and he came to win. By the middle rounds, though, he was looking tired and out of ideas as his rival was boxing up on his toes and controlling the action. But there was some real drama in the 8th round, as Campos unleashed a big left hand to the head that staggered and hurt Salita, forcing him to the ropes where he was under intense, all-out pressure. Campos, though tired, was still very dangerous!

Salita got back to his boxing in the 9th, snapping his opponent's head back with a crisp jab. Campos wanted nothing more than to stand and trade, knowing this was his only chance of pulling off the upset. The lights dimmed for a few seconds in The Garden between rounds 9 and 10, before Salita got back behind his boxing skills and continued out-scoring Campos. Sitting on the bottom rope for a few dangerous seconds, the 26-year-old invited his opponent to swing wildly in the final seconds of the 10th.

Campos' gum-shield was sent flying in the 11th round, as it had been in the 8th, and both men were now showing real signs of fatigue. Still, in the 12th and final round both guys threw a bunch of punches. Coming out full of fight after 11 tough rounds, the two warriors engaged in a good exchange in the final couple of minutes. A big right hand to the head scored for Salita, while Campos came back with a left hand of his own. It was a good action ending to a good fight and Campos was trying to pour it on in the dying seconds.

Salita was a worthy winner, but it's a shame he was awarded his victory by one margin that insulted the gutsy effort of his opponent.

Article posted on 09.11.2008



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