On May 19th Cuban heavyweight sensation Odlanier Solis returned to action by outclassing IBF intercontinental champion Konstantin Airich in Pharr, Texas. It was Solis’ first fight since suffering a bad knee injury at the end of the first round of his WBC world heavyweight title fight against Vitali Klitschko in March 2011 in Germany.
Now the WBC awarded the Cuban’s comeback win with the number 10 spot in their heavyweight ratings putting Solis in a position where he is a potential challenger for Klitschko’s title again. Vitali has already announced that he wants to fight again in early September in Kiev (Ukraine); lots of names have been discussed but no deal has been officially announced yet.
"Vitali is a great champion who has had a very impressive career. If he wants a worthy ending for his championship reign he should give Odlanier Solis another shot at the title. There is definitely no better challenger for him out there at the moment", says Solis’ promoter Ahmet Oner.
The first fight in March ended after only three minutes. At the post fight presser Oner and Klitschko manager Bernd Boente had a lively discussion about the question whether Vitali knocked the Cuban out or it was Solis’ knee injury ending the fight. But not only the involved managers couldn’t come to an agreement. Lots of fans and experts still argue about the ending of Klitschko vs. Solis I.
"I was very emotional immediately after the fight", states Oner. "From today’s perspective I see the whole story more relaxed. Everybody knows that Bernd Boente and I will never be best friends forever but in the end we are both businessmen and I’m sure we could come to an agreement for the sake of the sport and the business. This is not a personal thing between me and him; it’s a championship fight the world wants to see – rather than Vitali beating up a nameless tomato can."
Oner is convinced that there is a broad public interest in Germany and all over the world in a potential rematch between Klitschko and Solis: "It doesn’t matter how you see the ending of the first fight. At the end of the day Solis suffered a bad injury – and these two have unfinished business because they couldn’t end their fight. There are too many unanswered questions just to ignore them. Vitali has the chance to prove that he is not only a great champion but a great personality, too. He can give Solis the chance for a rematch he has always requested from Lennox Lewis. Vitali know how it feels to lose a fight because of an injury. I hope that he remembers that and gives Solis the shot he never got from Lennox."
Oner doesn’t comment on specific names which were discussed as possible opponents for Vitali over the past weeks: "I don’t want to take anything away from anybody. But I think everybody who knows boxing also knows that Solis is the best option for Vitali from a sportive perspective. And we are even ready to prove that! There are still three months to go until early September. Solis would face any of the names discussed in an elimination bout. We can do it next week if necessary. Solis would not only step into the ring against any possible opponent right aways – he would also beat all of the names who have been discussed over the past weeks!"
Adds "La Sombra": "It would be great if Vitali gave me another chance. I want to prove what I can do to him when my knee doesn’t give in. I know that I will be heavyweight champion of the world. But to be the legitimate champion I have to beat the best – and Vitali is the best.
"When I fough Airich I wasn’t at 100 percent. It was good to see that I can go 12 rounds though. And for a possible fight in September I have enough time to get into the best possible shape. If Vitali is looking for a real challenge for his last fight I am ready to go!"