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Vitali Wins; Challenger Solis Crumbles To Canvas In First

BY Michael Woods ON March 19, 2011
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Vitali Wins, Solis CrumblesThe theatre of the unexpected strikes again. Folks were hoping the pedigree of the Cuban born contender Odlanier Solis would emerge against WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko in Cologne, Germany on Saturday night. Well, it did just that as Solis started the first round like a man with something of a plan.

But the plan unraveled quickly, when a right hook, delivered in retreat, on the forehead--or was it a left hand? or was it the wind?-- buzzed the 2004 Olympic gold medallist. He went down on his butt after a two second delay, and grabbed at his right knee. Solis, clearly pained, made it up at the count of six. But he needed to steady himself on the ropes, and he was on wobbly legs. The ref saw this, and halted the abbreviated bout. Vitali, now 42-2, hustled over to Solis (17-1) and barked at him, perhaps yapping at him to convey he believed he should have and could have continued. The official time of the end was 3:00 of the first.

Some folks thought that fact that the 30-year-old Solis was not as fat at weigh-in time as he had previously been was cause for hope. But many will now say that if he had not been packing 246 plus pounds on his frame, he might not have been as prone to injury. And hey, who knew that Solis' promoter Ahmet Oner moonlights as physician specializing in diagnosing sports injuries? He said after that the knee finished it for Solis, not any punch, and said that the loser would likely have surgery right away, because of torn ligaments.

Also, a prevalent instapundit reaction was that Solis was having a smashing first round, that he looked like he had the Klitschko riddle solved. Semi-baloney, I say. He wasn't that busy, though he did land a few clean blows. Mostly, he moved laterally, to his left, and the 39-year-old Vitali had him at the range he wanted, and assessed him as he let his joints lube up properly.

I must admit: I hoped maybe we would get a decent tussle here, and maybe some of my disappointment seeped into my coverage. I don't mean to take a cheap swat at Solis here, but when will these heavyweight learn, the bulk of them, that they should do everything in their power to reach a proper state of fitness when training for a heavyweight title bout?

Finally, Solis had a better night than EPIX. The new pay TV cabler drew fury and scorn as viewers were unable to log on to their website to watch the fight. Some logged on, but were kicked off. EPIX said this was because of a traffic surge. Not ready for primetime, many grumbled as they searched for a livestream somewhere. Hey, it's a new world out there in Medialand; we at TSS support any serious players who want to offer content, so we aren't goint to pile on, and bust EPIX chops. Next time, we're sure they'll do better. Can the same be said for Solis?

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Comment on this article

the Roast says:

We were all hoping for a good fight. We didn't get it. Solis went down from a temple shot like Trevor Berbick vs Iron Mike. Solis hurt his knee on the way down from what I saw. The K dynasty continues...

Condor says:

Agreed Roast. I suppose it will be Adamek's turn next for Vitali. He's skilled and gutty, but likely too undersized to dent VK. Maybe Haye will bring the goods against Wladimir. I don't know. I'm very skeptical of Haye. His resume at heavyweight is very weak, and I didn't think he did enough to beat Valuev. To his credit, he did bludgeon Ruiz, which isn't the easiest task.

The sport of boxing is just better when the heavyweights matter. Love or hate the Klitschkos, the bottom line is they're just the equivalent of the mid-90's 3-peat Bulls to the rest of the league. Just a huge, HUGE chasm between them and the competition.

Oh well, maybe we'll get a Bowe-Holyfiled 1 type fight in the next 5 years...

mortcola says:

Definitely a knee injury. But, what I saw was an unimpressive shot land to the temple; Solis freeze and waver, knees (both) stiffen and quiver, and then he fell. First, a sign of a neurological short-circuit; then an awkward fall in which the rigid knee hyperextended and tore, due in part to a previous injury which was confirmed by Solis' people. Not satisfying. But not "just" the knee. Solis looked pretty good for two minutes, though.

Radam G says:

Just because umpteen people asked me to take a peep of their downloads of the the very, very short fiasco -- I mean bout -- and explain da haps IMHO better than Lennox Lewis did, I spittin' about this _____. First, LL is a nice dude. He wants the game of the heavyweights' shame to come to an end, so he's not going to lay blame. Off the record, he'd tell you what time it is -- an era of bums beating the heck outta fatties, tallies, marshmellows, tomato cans, stiffs and blustering busters, easy-to-crumble hypes, taking-a-dive faders and lay-downers. If you don't know the magic, you will be fooled by a fake tragic.

Doc VK simply did the knee-the-knee trick of the trade. [As the colorful Uncle Roger May says, "Most people don't s*** about boxin!'" Maybe so! But I think it is all part of people not wanting to know, so that they can continue to enjoy a magic show. And we know (or should know) what magic is -- optical illusions to make dat MOOOOOOOLLLLAAAA! And for the heavyweights, to cause mass confusion, not contusions.] La-fat-arse's legs collapsed under all of his obesity. He try to pull a Yuri Foreman, but the ref wasn't havin' it. Foreman got up to fight, Solis sneakishly called it a night. WTF! If he didn't have a double jelly belly and a triple-wide arse, his boney knees coulda, woulda, shoulda held him up to rumble, not stumble. And when the ref ask him, if he wanted to continue to fight, La-fat-arse wouldn't even mumble. Dude took a New Jack dive. At least oldschool divers knew how to fake it to make it look real. Later for New Jack ____ ___ ____ ___ ___ ___ __ of the weakest division in pugilistic HISTOREEEEEEE! Holla!

pmfan says:

Definitely a knee injury. But, what I saw was an unimpressive shot land to the temple; Solis freeze and waver, knees (both) stiffen and quiver, and then he fell. First, a sign of a neurological short-circuit; then an awkward fall in which the rigid knee hyperextended and tore, due in part to a previous injury which was confirmed by Solis' people. Not satisfying. But not "just" the knee. Solis looked pretty good for two minutes, though.


While you characterized it as unimpressive, it clearly wobbled Solis. That did not bode well for how well Solis could have handled the punching had the fight continued. You described it exactly right: a neurological short circuit causing him to wobble and head to the floor. At which point he squatted kind of and ripped his knee up. He probably would have gotten up without the knee injury and had the minute rest period to recover as the round was over. But he would have been KO'd at some point because more of those punches to the top of his head would have come from the 6'8" Vitali. (And Vitali walked through Solis' Sunday right hand earlier in the round, so Vitali wasn't going anywhere).

brownsugar says:

Say what you like EM but Solis was having an excellent first two minutes at least .. and seemed like he had the strategy and reflexes to have continued out boxing VK all night... but what transpired after he got hit didn't convey the character or class that I would have expected from a boxer with Solis's pedigree. It also wasn't a good sign seeing Solis sporting a brick sized gold plated replica of the most effeminate cartoon character in history(Sponge Bob Square Pants) on his neck chain at the weigh in...he'll probably end up joining Kevin Johnson in obscurity now..If the knee injury is legit.. it'll probably be a long time before he enters the ring again.. OFF topic... for those who saw the complete broadcast. VK's ring entrance was one of the most diabolical in recent memory.. they certainly don't spare the expense for entertainment in Germany. I figured there would be a server overload at Epix,.. I started logging on an hour and a half before the fight... registered under several passwords... and just as seemed as though the effort was a complete waste,..(the screen was frozen for a solid half hour).. the show came on just as we started dinner....my son who vowed never to watch another Kbrother fight(he hates the robotic style) decided to break his policy and joins us after I told him that Solis was a legit challenger.... Should have seen the dubious look in his eyes after the fight was over in one round. (priceless)

FighterforJC says:

According to ESPN, the knee injury was legit. Solis supposedly wants a rematch. I hope Vitali complies instead of ducking Solis, who I'm more convinced than ever, has the style and ability to beat Vitali. Vitali could easily say that he TKO'd Solis in one round and that he doesn't deserve a rematch, and Vitali would be right in a forensic sense. But everybody knows that Solis was in control during that first round. He didn't get agitated and he didn't fight like a guy fearing for his life the way Eddie Chambers did against Wladimir. Solis was calm, poised and most importantly, comfortable. He didn't seem at all bothered by Klitschko's size and was able to cope with it rather easily.

the Roast says:

A guy who get's KOed in the first round does not deserve a rematch. Solis needs to work his way back up. Rehab that knee, win a tuneup, fight Eddie Chambers or some other stroke, and then call for a rematch. By that time Vitali will be retired. The Heavyweight division is in serious trouble. People dont like the K bros? Who else is there? Wlad vs Haye is the only fight out there. After that what? Boxing now is 175 and below. For the Heavyweights all hope is gone.

dino da vinci says:

Rage on, Dr. Radam!

It's heartbreaking when your body betrays you. Solis looked just fine right up to the point the wheel came off.

Condor says:

ESPN yesterday reported the following: "The 30-year-old Cuban was taken to (the) hospital, where a scan revealed tears to his anterior cruciate ligament and external meniscus, as well as cartilage damage in his right knee."

Even if Solis was on his way to a 10-8 round (hyperbole), there would be no mandate for a rematch, not with a first round stoppage. The fact is it was Klitschko's punch that set the chain of events in motion, and the resultant injury.

In the Wladimir - Haye negotiations, my understanding is that Vitali can step in if WK can't go. And Vitali barely worked up a sweat. Therefore, we may see Vitali - Haye in June/July, which may be a deal killer, because from what I see, Haye wants nothing to do with Vitali.

Radam G says:

I've been a loyal member of the hurt bitnezz my whole complete life and probably in my former lives, but I don't recall syet before some time in the 1970s. I hear from the "Golden Oldies" that life starts at 40 like a muthasucka -- arthritis, stiffness, memory shortness and a lot of other types of jive. Well somebody musta' fo'got to tell Uncle Momoy -- not his boxing name. I've mentioned his ancient arse so many times. Dude's only stiffness is his Johnson. Hehehehehehe! Dat is what the ladies say.

Anyway, Solis is full of it. Two Tony Galento, compare to compared to Solis's fat-arse, was Anorexia nervosa. And TTG took all of his arse-thrashing like a man. Solis's triple-wide arse QUIT! YUP! So what Doc Vitali K bumped his big knee against Solis's boney-arse one. That is on Solis. Nobody hit that sucka. Go zoom in on da doc's giant-arse left knee bumping Solis's boney-arse left knee. Dude was grotesquely overweight, and dat arse and big belly were too much for those boney knees and ankles. Two-hundred-forty-nine pounds my arse was his weight. That was all a BIG promotion pitch. I'm reminded of how 169lbs Billy Conn was listed at something like 184lbs when he fought 204lbs Joe Louis, who was listed at about 195lbs.

Solis didn't come to fight. He came to QUIT! Boxers are known for playing possum when hurting. No top-level boxer, who is worth his salt, will fall from not getting punch then grab his knee. I don't care what any doctors said. They are the on payroll, and just as all the other crooks in the game. As Lennox Lewis said, "Solis quit, and took the money and ran." The ref should have made his arse fight. This is the HURT BITNESS! Not passive pugilism. I thought that was for females with over-sized gloves and skimpy bikinis on. Solis could pass the giggle test in their type of pugilism. Holla!

FighterforJC says:

A guy who get's KOed in the first round does not deserve a rematch. Solis needs to work his way back up. Rehab that knee, win a tuneup, fight Eddie Chambers or some other stroke, and then call for a rematch. By that time Vitali will be retired. The Heavyweight division is in serious trouble. People dont like the K bros? Who else is there? Wlad vs Haye is the only fight out there. After that what? Boxing now is 175 and below. For the Heavyweights all hope is gone.


Solis may not deserve a rematch, but boxing fans deserve a good fight. From what I saw in the first round, Solis is more than capable of delivering a competitive bout to say the least.

mortcola says:

Just watched slo-mo replay of the temple shot. It made NO contact with the glove; not partially blocked; it looked like not-much, but landed directly on the soft spot of the temple and snapped Solis' head around, after which his leg's locked - which happens occasionally when there's a sudden neurological incident; and his already-injured knee then gave out. Solis was not moving, torquing, sliding, shifting, at all - he got hit, and then the legs locked and gave out.

I think criticism of Solis' performance is unfounded. He didn't quit. No basis for that. His WEIGHT is an issue, a big one; his decision to come into a championship fight with a hair-trigger injury is shameful.

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