Boxing


Now It's Monte Barrett To Face Odlanier Solis

by James Slater - Originally, unbeaten U.S heavyweight Kevin "King Pin" Johnson was supposed to have met unbeaten Cuban big man Odlanier Solis on Saturday night in New York. However, the intriguing clash of unbeaten talent fell apart due to Johnson getting an offer to face WBC heavyweight king Vitali Klitschko on December 12th instead (that fight, by the way, looks almost a done deal)..

So, with Johnson out of the Madison Square Garden bill that is topped by Juan Manuel Lopez and Yuriorkis Gamboa defending their world titles against selected opposition, Solis needed a replacement. Fres Oquendo entered the picture, having been supposed to face Solis earlier in the year (only for the Cuban defector to pull out of that fight). Now, according to Dan Rafael over at ESPN.com, "Fast" Fres has also pulled out of the October 10th bout, due to his having to attend a court case that has to do with some legal issues he has.

So now, just three days before the fight, former world title challenger and dangerous puncher Monte "Two Gunz" Barrett steps in to fight Solis. It will be interesting to see how the change of opponent (X3) affects the 29-year-old Olympic gold medallist, and it will also be intriguing to see how severely 38-year-old "Two Gunz" can test the 14-0(10) hope.

Inactive since his exciting but losing effort against David Haye last November, Barrett, 34-7(20) was at one time this year supposed to fight Kevin Johnson - now he gets to fight the man "King Pin" took a pass at. Barrett is sure to be rusty when he enters the ring on Saturday evening, but, being a bigger puncher than Oquendo certainly, and Johnson possibly, he could give "La Sombra" a whole lot of trouble.

Indeed, an exciting fight should take place when the two heavies contest the WBC International title held by Solis. Not yet having been in with as seasoned and well experienced a puncher as Queens, New York's Barrett, the younger man by nine years may have his chin examined in his biggest pro bout to date. No, we don't know how much the five knockdown TKO loss at the hands of "The Hayemaker" took out of Barrett, but if he comes in in good shape (he always has done in the past) and if he's really up for the fight, who knows?

Remember, before he lost to Haye, Barrett had looked awesome in destroying the huge Tye Fields. Nobody is comparing the gifted Solis with "Big Sky," naturally, but the 1st-round win did show how fast and hard a puncher Barrett can be. Factor in how lazy and overweight Solis has looked in some of his fights and you never know, "Two Gunz" could score the upset.

In taking the fight on such short notice, it's to be assumed Barrett was in the gym and is in decent condition. If he's been working as hard as can be and if he's been just waiting for the phone to ring offering him a big fight, the superb amateur who has yet to impress in the paid ranks could get a nasty shock.

Article posted on 08.10.2009



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