The fight happens March 12, Saturday at Lanxess-Arena, Cologne, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, but let’s be clear here, this is a longtime professional legend having to face his mandatory, the 2004 Olympic heavyweight gold medalist whose professional career has been on the low brow path to no great shakes.
Vitali Klitschko holds all the pro accolades with his only weakness of late is that of closing in on 40 yrs of age. That and the WBC ruling apparatus that killed his tribute bout at Madison Square Garden against Polish legend Tomasz Adamek on the 40th anniversary of Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier’s Fight of the Century.
Odlanier Solis has been a pro coming in on 4 years now, but his development has stalled with a series of lackluster performances starting against Chancey Welliver in 2008, with his last being a farcical quality performance against a 40 yr old Ray Austin that turned into an ugly DQ win for Solis.
Welliver was some 30lbs over his career heaviest and easily boxed with Solis before a premature stoppage by the ref saved what could’ve been a controversial decision. The less said about Austin the better, but imagine Don King as the promoter and you got the picture.
Each and every one of Vitali’s comeback opponents were vastly superior to Solis in Peter, Gomez, Sosnowski, and Briggs with the possible exception of Kevin Johnson who for all intents and purposes vacated the building before the fight started.
Rumor has it that Solis is shedding his chubby excess, but I doubt even that helps him due to the low path of development he’s taken. He must have some talent to win all those gold medals, but the pro game is another ball of wax entirely that not even Cuban legend Juan Carlos Gomez could put a dent in for his Klitschko challenge.
Typical rinse and repeat Vitali bout goes with a long steady beatdown culminating in a knockout, so unless Solis has some hidden talents melding with highest level training, very quick footwork, and a booming knockout punch, I just don’t see it happening.
Some claim that Vitali has slipped a bit the last few years, yet nobody has rocked him and nobody has ever won even a handful of rounds off him yet.
Maybe Solis’ co-promoter, Ahmet Oner, can ring the timekeeper’s bell as he did a couple of years back to save a heavyweight prospect from being knocked out, but comedy highlights only go so far against the Klitschko brothers who are deadly with purpose every time out.
Maybe one of Vitali’s aging parts breaks down and comes flying off, that’s the only realistic possibility that I see, but hey, they gots to fight to prove it, and bigger upsets have happened, so there it is.