By David Haye
Another Klitschko fight, another overweight contender slips on gravy and crashes to the floor in a heap of flailing limbs and broken promises. This weekend it was Odlanier Solis playing the role of fat and foolish fall-guy, as he went toe-to-toe with big brother Vitali and then tumbled over at some point in the first round. A right hand struck him somewhere on the head and then, en route to the canvas, Humpty Dumpty managed to twist his knee and effectively rule himself out of the contest.
It was a disappointing end to what could have been a really interesting and watchable fight. In fact, in the short amount of time the two did spend upright and fighting, Solis appeared equipped to give Klitschko trouble. He landed a couple of eye-catching right hands and was also working Vitali's body over quite well. Solis seemed well-prepared and was beginning to work his game plan. Unlike most Klitschko opponents, the talented Solis seemed to know what he was doing and, despite his appearance, was skilful and good enough to carry it out.
I faced Solis in the final of the 2001 World Amateur Championships and I can attest to how good the guy is. He's very clever, very fast and extremely experienced as a top level amateur. Unfortunately, he's now forty pounds heavier and around forty times less hungry than he was as a 21-year-old amateur. He has fled Cuba, arrived in America and lost his hunger for boxing, while gaining an unstoppable hunger for fried food.
Although gifted enough to beat Klitschko, I had doubts whether Solis had the body or mind to carry out the duty on Saturday night. So it proved.
So where does Vitali stand in the picture now? Well, he's still the same 39-year-old champion he was before beating Solis, and he now has even less opponents out there to challenge him. He's also going to be relatively fresh now, given how he only took approximately three punches – one to the head and two to the body – in his most recent defence.
I couldn't read too much into his latest 'fight', but I know enough about Vitali to be confident of one day dethroning him. That can wait, though. Unless little brother completely loses his bottle and exposes his fear to the world, it will be Wladimir, not Vitali, who first loses his belts in 2011.