Beleaguered fans of the heavyweight division are always on the lookout for a heavyweight who can at least test the Brothers K, if not outright take down Vitali or Wladimir. Our expectations and wishes have been dialed back after several years of lockdown authority by the Ukrainian born masters of cautious pugilism.
The hopeful will train their eyes on number one ranked Odlanier Solis (age 30; from Cuba; 16-0, with 12 KOs, now aligned with Don King after parting ways with Top Rank), who will get the stiffest test of his three-plus year pro career, when he takes on number two ranked Ray Austin at the American Airlines Arena in Miami on December 17.
I know, I know, Austin (turns 40 on Oct. 31st; 28-4-4, with 18 KOs; from Ohio) is a faded fighter who in his prime reminded no one of the masters of the craft.
But again, we have dialed back expectations...
The winner of this fight is in line for a crack at the WBC heavyweight titlist, Vitali, who is expected to have his way with the former WBO heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs on Saturday in Hamburg.
Solis should have little trouble with Austin, who was last seen getting a TKO4 from DaVarryl Williamson, on his 39th birthday. A win would earn Austin another crack at a crown; he hit a brick wall on his first drive to a belt, getting blasted out by Wladimir in March 2007.
Check out Solis in action here, and offer your scouting report: www.youtube.com/watch
Ascendant light heavyweight Tavoris Cloud, last seen in an impressive and busy performance against Glen Johnson, will take on TBD on the same card.