Formerly unbeaten American Jewish boxer Dmitriy Salita was knocked out on Saturday by Muslim boxer Amir Khan, the former WBA light-welterweight champion, after only 76 seconds in the ring.
Khan knocked Salita to the canvas after barely 10 seconds at Metro Radio Arena. Khan then hurt him with a left, forcing another count, and followed up with a lightning-quick combination to send the New York-based fighter down on one knee.
Salita, who had a Star of David decorating his shorts, got up fast but was unsteady on the ropes, and the referee stopped the bout to give Khan his first defense of a title he won by beating Andreas Kotelnik of Ukraine in July.
Khan is a Muslim of Pakistani decent, while Salita is an Orthodox Jewish fighter of Ukrainian decent who currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. During his free time, Salita also studies at a Yeshiva in Brooklyn.
Few gave Salita much of a shot against Khan, who is considered one of the most talented up-and-coming fighters at 64 kilograms in the world.
"It was very explosive," said Khan, who won silver for Britain at the 2004 Athens Olympics. "We had too much power for this guy. I'm a growing young man and developing as a man. After the first shot, I could see his legs buckling and I just had to take my time. I knew he was going."
Khan praised trainer Freddie Roach for turning around his career since losing in 54 seconds to Breidis Prescott of Colombia in September 2008.
"It was a blessing in disguise, what happened against Prescott. I got beat and came back stronger," Khan said. "I'm getting stronger and quicker. Freddie said to take it easy, pick the right shots and you'll take this guy out - and we did.
"Freddie is a great trainer, he's like a father figure to me, and to have him in my corner means a lot. Everyone knows I'm a hardworking fighter, and if you put the hard work in you're going to get the benefits."
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