His family has a long athletic tradition. The legacy started with his grandfather, Willis, who was regarded as the toughest fighter in northern Virginia in 1897. His brother, Adrian, was once ranked third in the world amongst junior welterweights. His two uncles, Fred and Virgil, played semi-professional baseball. Salim and his brothers played various sports, including football, basketball, baseball, and track and field. In 1969, Salim was the starting safety, and captain of the Coolidge High School football team, right here in the District. That team went on to beat McKinley Technology High School in the first annual Turkey Bowl City Championship Game and became city champions.
Having been around sports and boxing his entire life, boxing became a lifelong passion for Salim. Thus, it is no surprise that Salim found himself manager for Seth Mitchell, the 14th ranked heavyweight boxer in the world.
Salim has been managing professional boxers since 1991. In 2006, his close friend, Maurice Banks, asked him if he would be interested in managing Seth Mitchell. Banks was an assistant coach for the Gwynn Park High School football team, while Mitchell was playing linebacker there. Since that time, Banks and Mitchell developed a close friendship. After meeting with Mitchell, Salim was so impressed with him that he decided to become Mitchell’s manager. Salim quickly hired Andre Hunter as Mitchell’s trainer, and Chris Ray as his cut man, two individuals who are very well respected in the boxing business. Salim and Banks both felt that Mitchell had tremendous potential. However, they knew that they would need to partner with a major boxing promotion organization to help take Mitchell’s career to the highest level. After Mitchell had 10 amateur fights and two pro fights, Salim assembled a promotional package and sent it to Golden Boy Promotions. He selected Golden Boy because of its stellar reputation in the industry as one of the best boxing promoters around. Golden Boy CEO, Richard Schaeffer, was so impressed with the package that he invited Salim and Mitchell to meet with him at Golden Boy headquarters in Los Angeles, California. Following their meeting, Golden Boy Promotions, Salim, and Mitchell, agreed that Golden Boy would be Mitchell’s promoter.
Over the past four decades, and often while managing Mitchell, Salim has mentored boys in the D.C. Metro area. While he is currently recovering from a work-related injury, Salim is mentoring three troubled teenagers. He has really emphasized the importance of education to his mentees. Salim, himself is a graduate of D.C. Teachers’ College, and holds a Masters Degree from Bowie State College. In 2010, Salim founded Books Not Bullies, an organization whose focus is to turn physical aggression into academic pursuit, which can ultimately lead to academic excellence. Salim has taught Ancient History, in the D.C. Public School System, and served as Acting Principal of Theodore Roosevelt High School from 1987 through 1992. He also founded the Muslim Community School in 1980, which is located in Potomac, Maryland. The school offers Pre-K through grade twelve, and at its peak, student enrollment reached 400.
Salim undoubtedly has had a great impact on the lives of many young people, and both he and they have experienced tremendous success. Salim’s mind could be on many different things right now—mentoring youth, improving educational outcomes and more. Right now, however, I am willing to bet that only one thing has Salim’s full attention--Seth Mitchell’s fight scheduled December 10, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Mitchell will make his HBO boxing debut against tough challenger Timur Ibragimov in a co-featured bout. The other co-featured bout will be a Super Lightweight championship fight with Washington’s own Lamont Peterson contending against champion Amir “King” Khan. Given Salim’s track record, something tells me success is imminent on many levels.