Boxing


Odlanier Solis One Win Away From A Shot At Vitali Klitschko, Must Beat Ray Austin In WBC Final Eliminator

solis v klitschkoBy James Slater - It’s been reported today that unbeaten heavyweight contender Odlainer Solis, a 2004 Olympic gold medallist, will leave Top Rank Promotions and be co-promoted by Ahmet Oener and Don King. This news came from ESPN.com, and Oener wanted Solis to leave Bob Arum’s company primarily because the group were not moving his heavyweight fast enough for his liking. Arum has released Solis under amicable terms, and now the man many people see as the last big threat to the current Klitschko dominance will face King fighter Ray Austin later this year, in a final elimination bout that will see the winner get a shot at WBC heavyweight king Vitali Klitschko.

“Solis is one of the very few heavyweight boxers today with superstar potential,” Oener said. “Odlanier might be the only real threat to the Klitschkos. We hope to get our hands on Vitali early next year.

“Solis has to beat [Ray] Austin for that [opportunity] in their final eliminator but I’m sure he will pass this tough test..”

Reportedly, the plan is for Solis, 16-0(12) and Austin, 28-4-4(18) to meet in November, probably in Germany. Solis was to have fought next in October, on the 16th, but this fight will now be cancelled as “La Sombra” will go in with “The Rain Man” instead.

At age 30, and with his well documented, ever-increasing weight, it makes sense for Solis to be moved faster than he was being moved. Idle since his March win over Carl Davis Drummond, it is to be hoped Solis, who tipped-in at 268-pounds for the 3rd-round retirement win, has been working hard in the gym. By the time he gets in there with 39-year-old Austin, himself inactive since October of last year, Solis will have been out for a career-long eight months. As high as 271 for one of his fights, what weight will the 6’1.5” big man come in at for the eliminator?

A talented fighter, no doubt, Solis can punch and he has some great skills. But on the negative side, the Cuban has also been guilty of being lazy in fights, and there is that weight issue. Austin, somehow ranked as high as he is by the WBC, despite having been out of action for almost a full year, is a big guy himself at 6’6” and approx 240-pounds, but he has more experience at pro level than does Solis.

In all honesty, it’s likely Vitali Klitschko sees no potential danger from either man. Austin was of course destroyed inside two easy rounds when he met Wladimir Klitschko in a title shot back in 2007, and even if he has seen off Andrew Golota and DaVarryl Williamson since, his recent form has not been chilling. For his part, Solis IS one of the last potential threats to Klitschko (along with David Haye and maybe Tomasz Adamek), and he is a seemingly fearless operator.

The planned November fight may not tell us too much with regards to how good Solis’ chances against Vitali are. I feel the Cuban defector will beat Austin - probably via a mid-rounds clubbing - but what will it prove? Austin is, after all, an ageing, inactive heavyweight; albeit a tough and experienced one.

Vitali has to get past the possibly dangerous Shannon Briggs on October 16th, but assuming he does that (and practically everyone thinks he will), it looks like it will be either Solis or Austin next. At this rate, “Dr Iron Fist” could probably fight on until his mid or even early-forties!

Will the dominance of the Klitschkos ever end!?

Article posted on 24.09.2010



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