Heavyweight prospect Jermaine Franklin signs with promoter Dmitry Salita

Sought-after heavyweight prospect Jermaine Franklin signed on Thursday with promoter Dmitry Salita.

“Salita Promotions prides itself on showcasing and promoting its fighters and that really impresses me,” Franklin said in announcing his deal. “I believe that Salita Promotions gives me the best opportunity to become heavyweight world champion. Dmitry understands boxing and I look forward to gaining his guidance and knowledge.

“I want to raise the competition in the heavyweight division. There are some great heavyweights like Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua that are putting the division back on top. I want to be right there with them and have a hand in making the division must-watch TV once again.”

Franklin (17-0, 13 KOs), 25, of Saginaw, Michigan, who has been a professional since 2015, was a standout amateur and a 2014 National Golden Gloves champion. He elected to go pro after that rather than try for a berth on the 2016 U.S. Olympic team.

“I have watched Jermaine for the last two years and I’ve seen his desire, dedication and commitment to the sport,” said Salita, who adds Franklin to a stable that includes heavyweight contender Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, unified women’s middleweight titlist Claressa Shields and several other prospects. “I spend a lot of time in Michigan and I make sure to educate myself on up-and-coming fighters in the area. Jermaine’s boxing record speaks for itself. It’s an honor to add him to my promotional stable.

“Jermaine is the best American heavyweight prospect in boxing and he’s just a few fights away from being a familiar name for fans. He has the pedigree to be the next great American heavyweight fighter.”

Franklin’s first fight with Salita Promotions has not yet been scheduled. He is coming off a lopsided 10-round decision win over Craig Lewis on July 13 in Detroit.