Odlanier Solis To Meet Ray Austin In WBC Final Eliminator - December 17th In Miami

By James Slater: It’s official: unbeaten Cuban heavyweight Odlanier Solis will face tough veteran Ray Austin on December 17th in Miami, with the winner set to face WBC heavyweight king Vitali Klitschko some time next year.

Solis promoter Ahmet Oner announced the fight today, reports, and the WBC final eliminator is, in his opinion, a fight the Miami-based Cuban will win in commanding style.

“Solis will give no chance to Austin and finally get his chance at [Vitali] Klitschko at the beginning of the year,” Oner said.

In all likelihood, most fans will agree with the promoter. Solis is younger, bigger and a heavier-hitter than Austin, and though “La Sombra” has been far from active himself, he has been in the ring more recently and more frequently than has the 39-year-old (who last fought in October of last year). What “The Rain Man” does have over the nine years younger man, is some experience and a considerable height advantage - Solis is 6’1.5,” Austin is 6’6.” But will the former Wladimir Klitschko victim be able to make these advantages count come December 17th?

Austin has a decent enough record at 28-4-4(18) and he has been halted just twice - by “Dr. Steel Hammer” in 2007, and by Attila Levin way back in 2001. But the age and inactivity factors cannot be ignored. Austin has boxed so infrequently as of late, it’s impossible to know what kind of shape he will be in against Solis. If he does still have the fire he had back when he was stopping Andrew Golota and DaVarryl Williamson (both fights taking place in 2009), Austin might give Solis a tough night.

And, truth be told, the hefty Cuban (approx 270-pounds last time out, against Carl Davis Drummond in March of this year - compared to around 245-pounds for Austin in his last fight) has failed to dazzle the fans thus far. Sure, Solis is both big and strong and he can whack (just ask Monte Barrett), but he has also appeared disinterested and even a touch lazy in certain fights he’s had. The weight issue, too, has attracted fan criticism.

If, however, Solis, 16-0(12) is as motivated and as properly trained as he should be for this important fight, it’s going to take one supreme effort by Austin to derail him. Has the 39-year-old got that kind of fight left in him at this stage in his career? If he has, things could get interesting and exciting in Miami. If, though, Austin is slow, faded and lacking in ambition, Solis figures to roll right over him.

Vitali Klitschko-Odlanier Solis in 2011? It looks like it - unless Shannon Briggs has something to say about things this Saturday night!

Article posted on 14.10.2010

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