By Alexey Sukachev
Turkey - There were bigger disappointments in the long history of prizefighting, but over the last 15 years one will struggle to find a bigger bust than former Cuban amateur star and Olympic gold medal winner Odlanier Solis; his status of a loser being confirmed minutes ago by Tony Thompson. A year ago, the American veteran managed to edge Solis just narrowly on a split decision. Tonight chose not to rely on judges, effectively retiring La Sombra on his stool at the conclusion of round 8.
With a loss to Thompson (now 43 years of age) in their first fight and with crushed dreams surrounding him, Odlanier Solis found himself with his back against the wall and no option but to lose for the second straight time. Solis, 34, responded to this adversity by coming... horribly out-of-shape at 272 lbs.
Nevertheless, former Olympic and three-time world champion started fast, showing reminiscents of his former skills. Thompson responded well in the second half of round one. Then Solis started to use his reflexes and speed to connect more often than Thompson, specifically with his right hand. Yet the American has never been dazed or rocked. However, Odlanier's activity and ring gemeralship allowed his to get an edge later on. Thompson responded well in the fifth and in the sixth stanza, while BoxingScene had it 58-56 - for Solis after the sixth.
Solis continued to engage more with Thompson later on but his intensity decreased, and he suddenly started to look as a gassed fighter. His right hand was still dangerous but sturdy Thompson paid little attention to its effects. He continued to pepper Solis with his jab and allowed him less and less room in the ring. Round seven was clearly Thompson's, while the eighth turned into a virtual catastrophe for the Cuban, who was getting pummelled all over the place in the eighth.
There was a heated conversation in a corner of Solis after the eighth round with his promoter Ahmet Oner using starker and starker words to motivate his protege.
But Solis chose to retire on his stool at the beginning of round 9 to the huge disappointment of Oner, who was seemingly looking to get Thompson's job done with his own hands and restrained himself just barely.
Odlanier's second consecutive loss can very well mark the end of the road for arguably the most praised Cuban heavyweight of its first modern wave. Solis is now 20-3, with 13 KOs. Seemingly ageless Thompson resurrects his career once again, and he is now 40-5, 27 KOs, with a newly acquired WBC Continental Americas heavyweight regalia.
Light heavyweight Avni Yildirim (3-0, 2 KOs) captured a vacant WBC Youth Intercontinental 175lb title with a well-earned stoppage of Georgian opponent George Beroshvili (16-5-2, 9 KOs) in round three.
Yildirim fired off his heavy guns from the get go. Beroshvili made a huge mistake, trying to counter Yildirim with blows of his own but the Turkish fighter was just much stronger physcially and connected visibly harder than his opponent. Late in the third he cornered Beroshvili and forced him to take a knee after yet another one-sided exchange. Referee Juergen Langos stopped it with 20 seconds remaining in the round, with a towel being thrown from the Georgian's corner.
Cruiserweight Aziz Karaoglu (3-0, 2 KOs) is on a fast track to the world ranks. Having debuted less than a month ago, the Turkish fighter has already defended his minor WBC title for the first time. Fighting in a sea resort city of Antalya, Karaoglu managed to outpoint recently crowned Italian national champion Maurizio Lovaglio (18-11, 11 KOs) over ten rounds.
Karaoglu defended his WBC Mediterranean 200lb title, which he won less than two weeks ago, for the first time and improves his record to 3-0, with 2 KOs.