By Dave Lahr: More than a few fighters are starting to doubt whether WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (41-2, 38 KO’s) can get by number #1 contender Odlanier Solis (17-0, 12 KO’s) on March 19th at the Lanxess-Arena, in Cologne, Germany.
WBA heavyweight champion David Haye and former Olympic Gold Medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux are just a couple of fighters that are questioning whether Vitali will win this fight. Haye points out that the 39-year-old Vitali is no longer “invincible” like he once was earlier in his career. Haye feels that if the 30-year-old Solis comes in shape for this fight and not bloated like he’s been looking, he will have a very real chance of pulling off an upset and beating Vitali.
Haye knows what he’s talking about, because Vitali has been looked slow in recent fights and no longer seems capable of landing his right hands because of his diminishing hand speed. Solis does a lot of things that Vitali can’t do at his advanced age. The only thing that Vitali has going for him in this fight is his height and even that can be easily minimized with Solis’s movement, jabs and combinations. Vitali is good against certain types of limited opposition, but Solis is a lot better than the guys that Vitali has been dining on since he made his comeback.
Solis has to get Vitali backing up and defending himself. He’s got to put pressure on him and keep him in the reactionary mode instead of on the offense. Vitali can’t fight a lick when he’s backing up.