By Terry Arthur: In the build up to this fight the smart money was on Dr Iron Fist WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko against Cuban Odlanier Solis. Vitali has enormous top level experience, an iron chin as well as an iron fist, having never been knocked out. Add to that the fact that he’s only ever lost twice, both times to injury. The first being a shoulder injury and the second a more damaging cuts stoppage at the hands of the best heavyweight of his generation in Lennox Lewis. That being said, some could be heard to say that La Bomba, with his slick boxing skills, supposed granite chin, excellent amateur record and the fact the Vitali is now 39, might have a chance.
The serious worry for Solis had to be his physical condition, and I would argue his lack of height and reach, especially with Vitali’s awkward and hard to pin down, lean back style.
From the opening bell Vitali became stalker and Solis his prey. Mainly using his jab to try to set something up Vitali followed his opponent around the ring. Solis was using the ring well and countering with what looked like some hard punches, but he was always reaching and Vitali never really looked fazed.
Towards the end of the one and only round, Solis was caught on the top of the head whilst lunging forwards looking for a combination, by what looked like a innocuous punch and staggered backwards, his knee giving out from underneath and he went down. He managed to get up, but was wobbling and the referee rightly waved him off..
Let’s get one thing straight. Solis was hurt by the punch. It didn’t look much, but it was one of those punches that hit the spot and didn’t need much power behind it. A freak punch if you will, but he was hurt and you could see that when he was hit. Also when he was trying to get up that it wasn’t just the knee that was the problem as he was clearly dazed and confused.
I do feel however, that he should be given a re-match, otherwise there will always be those that say it was only the knee that was his downfall. Whether that happens or not is another matter as I have a feeling that Vlad does not fancy Haye and Vitali will fill in for his brother.