Cuban heavyweight contender Odlanier Solis has spent the last two weeks in Turkey to get ready for his WBC international heavyweight championship bout this Saturday (March 22nd) in Tekirdag against US veteran Tony Thompson. Promoter Ahmet Oner used the long and proud history of his home country to get Solis heated up for the clash of former Klitschko foes.
"We went to the cinema to watch '300: Rise of an Empire'. The next day I took Solis to ancient graves from the times of the Ottoman empire", says Oner. "I wanted to show Solis that he is in a country which has seen a lot of big and important battles over thousands of years. I expect him to enter the ring on Saturday with the same attitude of old Ottoman fighters when they went to war. This is a do or die fight. If Solis beats Thompson I will lead him to another world title fight. But if he loses it might be all over."
2004 Olympic gold medalist Solis was deeply impressed from the historic sites. "I love Turkey, especially the hospitality of the people here", says Solis. "And I see the long history as obligation to deliver a great fight. This country and the whole continent have seen big wars. And the next epic battle is coming up this Saturday. Tony Thompson doesn't know what's coming for him. My only goal is to become heavyweight champion of the world. And I won't let anybody stop me on my way."
As additional motivation, Solis' family flew in from Miami and arrived in Istanbul today. "Having my wife and my boys here with me is the final missing piece", adds Solis. "I will not disappoint them as I will not disappoint my fans in Turkey and all around the world. I will beat Tony Thompson and go on to become world champion!"
The WBC International championship between Solis and Thompson headlines a show promoted by Ahmet Oner / Arena Boks Sportif and will take place this Saturday (March 22nd) in Tekirdag, Turkey, about 150 km west of Istanbul at the Mediterranean Sea. The show will be broadcasted live in about 50 countries including Turkey (Kanaltürk), Germany (sportdigital in association with Sky), the United Kingdom (Boxnation) and many more.
In the co-feature promising German-Turkish prospect Agit Kabayel takes own the hard-hitting Nigerian Gbenga "Bang Bang" Oloukun for the WBC Mediterranean heavyweight championship.