By Ivan Ivanov: Getting the fans interested in the heavyweight division requires imagination and even writing about it isn’t exactly a rewarding task. There are no natural self-evident rivalries and publicity stunts may be necessary to set up a fight. According to Fightnews, Ahmet Öner, the promoter of heavyweight contender Odlanier Solis, has issued a challenge to Deontay Wilder. He made a bold statement that he doesn’t see Wilder as the next big thing and Solis could prove that.
The manager is confident “Showtime” will accept the fight. He has billed this rivalry as “US Power vs. Latino Power”. This could be an overstatement but the fight makes sense anyway.
Odlanier Solis has disguised his boxing body behind layers of fat. Years of obesity and questionable work ethics have pushed him into a semi-obscure spot and his German-Turkish manager has not been able to showcase his charge in the USA.
I’ve mentioned before that I see Solis as the most gifted boxer in the weight class and if he loses 30 pounds and gets in real boxing shape, he’ll be a monster. The Cuban boxing style is easily adaptable to the paid ranks but it requires you to be in a very good physical condition. The Cubans have been known to train with wet shirts for added resistance, but wearing a back pack weighing 25-35 pounds in the ring like Solis does has not occurred even to the most cruel of coaches.
Odlanier does exactly that to himself when he should drop the “excess luggage” and work harder, there would be health benefits as well. As far as boxing knowledge and ability is concerned, he is a boxing encyclopedia but it’s only in Spanish with a Cuban accent, he has not found it necessary to learn English.
Deontay Wilder is a little taller than the Klitschkos but his main physical advantage is his reach. He has perhaps the longest reach in boxing today at 84 in/213 cm. He is remarkably fats for such a tall athlete and has good overall coordination. He has fast hands and fast feet as well. He is dangerous because of his speed; his power is based on that. His height, reach and fast feet keep him out of trouble but his defense is limited to that.
Deontay started boxing relatively late and late starters in boxing lack the ingrained boxing motor skills formed during the teenage years. Their main common setback is they lack solid defensive discipline. I’ll be curious to see him against an opponent who can dodge his predictable offense and counter with a shot or two. Solis is like that and he can be a good test. To keep this from getting too long, here is my view: If Odlanier Solis show up in shape for this fight, he could give Wilder more than he could handle.