Solis defeats Larsen; Aydin beats Lauri; Chagaev destroys Sheppard
By Jim Dower: Looking a slimmer than usual, IBF Inter-Continental heavyweight champion Odlanier Solis (19-1, 12 KO’s) put in a workmanlike performance tonight in defeating the raw but powerful Leif Larsen (17-1, 14 KO’s) by a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision at the Universal Hall in Berlin, Germany.
The final judges’ scores were 116-112, 115-114, 117-111. Solis did his best work in the first six rounds, showing good hand speed, but limited power. In the second half of the fight, Solis seemed to tire and he ended up looking really sloppy in his performance.
Larsen was power, but incredibly slow of hand and foot. His lack of hand speed really hurt him tonight because if he had more hand speed he’d be a dangerous opponent. As it was, he was simply out-boxed by Solis in a fight that was largely one-sided. The reason Larsen was able to win rounds was because of Solis tiring in the second half, and needing to take rounds off.
Heavyweight Ruslan Chagaev (31-2-1, 20 KO’s) wasted no time with journeyman Mike Sheppard (20-15-1, 9 KOs) by coming out fast and putting him down with a hard left hand. The action was then halted. Sheppard hardly threw a punch before the fight was over.
Chagaev has now won his last four fights, and it looks like he’s trying to work his way to another title shot by facing C level opposition instead of upper tier or good B level fighters.
You can’t blame the 34-year-old Chagaev for doing this because the division has improved, and he’s still basically the same limited fighter that held the WBA heavyweight title from 2007 to 2009. He doesn’t have the skills to compete with the top fighters in the division, and he’s doing the right thing by facing weaker guys.
Fighting for the second time at 154, former WBC Silver welterweight champion Selcuk Aydin (24-2, 17 KO’s) beat Giuseppe Lauri (53-12, 31 KOs) by a 10 round unanimous decision. Aydin showed good power as always, and had Lauri hurt and ready to go on a number of occasions in the fight.