By Chris LaBate
Top Rank's CEO, Bob Arum, is giving undefeated Odlanier Solis a good shot of upsetting WBC champion Vitali Klitschko (41-2, 38KOs) on March 19 at the Lanxess-Arena in Cologne, Germany. Solis (17-0, 12KOs), a 2004 Olympic Gold medal winner, is a big underdog on both sides of the ocean. He was a top amateur who was groomed by the Cuban boxing system. Solis was recently co-promoted by Top Rank, but he was granted a release because Arum's company does very little business with the heavyweight division.
Arum considers Vitali as the tougher guy to beat among the two Klitschko brothers. Younger brother Wladimir will defend his IBO/IBF/WBO titles against another undefeated contender, Dereck Chisora, on April 30 in Germany.
"I give him a real good chance. You gotta remember, the fighters who were on the Cuban national team, who learned their boxing from Cuban trainers, have a leg up on most fighters because they got the best training in Cuba, better than anything in America. The only ones that are close are some Eastern Europeans. Cuba training is the best," Arum told Scoop Malinowski of boxinginsider.com.
"Now if Solis was fighting Wladimir, I’d feel a lot more confident. But he’s fighting Vitali and even though Vitali isn’t as talented as Wladimir, he’s a harder guy. He’s a real hard guy. I like Solis in the fight. It’s going to be very tough to defeat Vitali. But if anybody can do it, it’s Solis”