By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Promoter Sammy Gello-ani who helped get undefeated Jether Oliva a title shot at IBF champion Ulises "Archie" Solis admits that the talented Filipino fighter is the underdog against the veteran Solis when they clash in Guadalajara,Mexico on Sunday, Manila time.
Gello-ani who is in Mexico told the Daily Inquirer “Oliva is the underdog but we have the height advantage against Archi and that one can be used by Oliva to offset the advantage of Solis as a veteran fighter.” Solis is 5'3" while Oliva stands two inches taller at 5'5".
The well-known promoter said “ You may say that Oliva is overmatched but I think he has reached the day where he has the opportunity to prove himself aside from his strong desire and ambition to become a World Champion.”
Oliva is undefeated and has a record of 17-0-1 with 11 knockouts while Solis has a record of 33-2-3 with 21 knockouts.
Oliva won the WBO Oriental minimum weight title with a unanimous twelve round decision over previously undefeated Fernando Ocon last May 13 and has moved up in weight in order to take the title shot even at a short four weeks notice.
However, his American manager Kenny Smith said that while Oliver accepted the title fight at short notice the plus factor is that “Jether stays in great condition and lives a very clean life.”
He said the 24 year old Filipino who is ranked No. 12 by the WBA and the IBF and No. 7 by the WBO was “calm and I feel confident he can win at 108 pounds” even as he supported Gello-ani’s contention that Oliva "deserves the opportunity and has proved he is ready to take on a great champion like Solis.”
The 29 year old Solis lost the IBF title via a stunning 11th round knockout to Brian Viloria at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum on April 19, 2009 and regained the title in a rematch with Argentina’s Luis Albert Lazarte after they battled to a draw in their first encounter for the world title. Solis has won five of his lasy six fights and drawn one.