Faga Speker and Jessica Elgot – Jewish Chronicle
The rabbi who accompanied boxer Dmitriy Salita to his fight against Amir Khan has expressed his shock at antisemitic abuse levelled at the Orthodox boxer.
Rabbi Dovid Lewis of Newcastle United Hebrew Congregation accompanied Salita from his dressing room to the ring, where he was defeated in 76 seconds by title holder Khan.
Rabbi Lewis said: “We were shocked at the vitriolic abuse shouted at Dmitriy from both sides of the throng on the walkway to the ring.
“It was antisemitic swearing and spitting with a lot of pushing and pulling they were baying for him at this point, although the general crowd was good-humoured and calm.
“Dmitriy was stunned but not hurt, we returned to his hotel and he was visited by a large crowd of supporters, well into the night. As it was a significant day in the Lubavitch calendar, Dmitry showered, put on fresh clothes and his tzitzes and we learned into the night.
More than 200 Jews from New York, London, Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow travelled to Newcastle to show their support for Salita.
Salita, a Ukrainian émigré who was previously unbeaten in 31 bouts, is an Orthodox Jew who studies at a Chabad yeshiva in Brooklyn. A Star of David decorates his boxing shorts during his fights.