By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Jether Oliva’s courageous stand against veteran IBF light flyweight champion Ulises Solis has convinced his handlers, promoter Sammy Gello-ani and international promoter and matchmaker Sampson Lewkowicz that the 24-year-previously undefeated Filipino deserves another title shot.
This time, rather than moving up in weight on four-weeks notice which he did to get the title shot at Solis, Oliva’s manager Kenny Smith informed BoxingScene.com/Daily Inquirer that the handlers told him “they will get Jether another chance at a world championship against newly crowned WBO minimumweight champion Moises Fuentes.”
The unheralded Fuentes (14-1, 6 KO’s) won the title in a stunning upset over Raul “Rayito” Garcia (30-2-1, 18 KO’s) on the same card where Oliva lost to Solis in the main event at the Auditorio Bniito Juarez in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Garcia who had won the IBF title via a split decision over the Philippines Florante Condes on June 14, 2008 was dropped in round 7 but decked Fuentes in round 9. Two judges had Fuentes the winner by a 114-112 margin while the third judge scored it for Garcia also by the same 114-112 score.
Smith said that both Gello-ani and Lewkowicz told him Oliva “earned and deserves another world title try because of his effort against Solis.”
Pointing out that Oliva “fought a very g ood fight although Solis won decisively by rounds” Smith said” not one round did Jether lose badly. All rounds were competitive and while both fighters were hurt neither fighter was knocked down.”
Smith noted that Oliva “took Solis’ best punched and fired back with his own and it was Oliva who was backing Solis up most of the fight. Jether never backed down from Solis.”
The American manager who was at ringside said “Jether showed his F ilipino fighting heart and put on a great fight. Jether proved that he is a world class fighter and showed he deserved the title fight against Solis.”
Smith said fight fans should realize that Oliva fought a world champion who had knocked out 21 opponents and had more knockouts than Jether had fights. He added that Solis “is a great champion and Oliva took him to the limit in his first fight out of the Philippines and in the champion’s home town which says a lot about this kid.”
He said “of course Jether was disappointed because he wanted to become world champion. He tried everything he could to become one but Solis’ experience in 12 world title fights was the difference. Jether is going to be a world champion, not just tonight.”