Hector Camacho Jr. has signed the contract to fight Dmitriy Salita, at 152 pounds or less, at the Barclays Center on Feb. 9 during the second Golden Boy card at the new building.
Salita offered NYFightBlog his recollections on his previous interactions with Junior and what he thinks the stakes are.
"My first ever pro camp before my pro debut in 2001 was actually with Junior before he fought Jesse James Leija in New York (on July 7, 2001 at KeySpan Park in Brooklyn). It was in Denver, Colorado. His father Hector Sr. was in camp as well; he and I were both trained by Hector Roca. Senior was getting ready to fight Roberto Duran if I remember correctly. (Camacho fought and beat Duran on July 14.) Junior and me sparred probably around 15 to 20 rounds. It was good work for me. I got a one-round KO in that debut (on June 24, 2001, against Roberto Delgado), so the sparring paid off. Interestingly, Paul Malignaggi made his debut on the Camacho/Leija show in Coney Island (against Thadeus Parker, scoring a TKO1 win).
"I am a student of the game so to be around that kind of talent from the beginning was great for me. I learned a lot from that camp. One of the things that I remember and that stuck with me is that Hector Sr. would run with us in the mornings. But on Sundays he ran for two hours straight around the lake, a slow but consistent jog. He worked very hard in the gym and would jog on a treadmill before and after his workouts. In Denver, the air was thin so it was not an easy task. I was amazed that as old as he was (39) he still trained that hard."
I offered that an impressive win by him or Camacho could help them cut the line and get a title shot soon after. Did Salita agree?
"Yes, I do agree about an impressive win," he said. "I am happy and grateful that Golden Boy is giving me this opportunity. I want good, significant fights. Camacho is a talented fighter and I expect for him to come prepared. I am excited!"
Salita, age 30, has a 35-1-1 record. He beat Brandon Hoskins at Barclays on Oct. 20 his last time out, via UD6. The lefty Camacho, age 34, is 54-5-1, and was kayoed in round six by 12-1-1 Luis Grajeda in his last outing, on July 28, in Mexico.