Klitschko defends against Solis

By Francis Walker BASN Staff Writer
Updated: March 15, 2011

New York, NY—WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (41-2, 38 KOs), of Ukraine, returns to the ring at Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany on Saturday to defend his title against 2004 Athens Olympic gold medalist, Cuba’s Odlanier Solis (17-0, 12 KOs). The bout will mark Klitschko’s sixth defense of the WBC title he won in October 2008 after ending a 3 ½-year retirement.

Is this the end of the Klitschko reign as heavyweight champion? The odds favor Klitschko to retain his heavyweight title. Klitschko’s only two losses occurred against light-hitting Chris Byrd in 2000 and Hall of Fame heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis in 2003. Klitschko’s loss to Byrd was following the result of an injured bicep. Klitschko was handedly beating Byrd and had a wide lead on the scorecards before failing to answer the bell to start the tenth round.

In 2003, Klitschko’s battle with Lewis was arguably the last great heavyweight fight. Klitschko had a busted left eye, as a result of a Lewis famous overhand right. Klitschko and Lewis went to war. During the toe-to-toe battle, Klitschko stunned Lewis several times and was ahead on the judges’ scorecards before the fight was stopped on cuts after the sixth round.

Klitschko is a mammoth of a man. The 6′ 7,” 250-pound champion has a chin like granite. He has never been knocked down. In fact, Klitschko has never trailed on the judges’ scorecards prior to the end of one of his fights.

Klitschko is 39 years old. He turns 40 in July, but doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Klitschko is well conditioned, as proven in distance victories against Kevin Johnson and Shannon Briggs. Klitschko has also displayed knockout power late in bouts asgainst Albert Sosnowski and Chris Arreola.

Klitschko, along with younger brother Wladimir, the unified IBF/WBO heavyweight champion, is a sight to see. His footwork is very good for a big man. Klitschko, like his brother, controls his bouts using a consistently stiff left jab, a powerful right hand, and block punches very well.

Klitschko will be challenged by Solis, as the young heavyweight title challenger will be able to put his punches together better than any of Klitschko’s previous opponents. Solis is younger, hungry, and will be aggressive. This is perhaps Solis’ only opportunity to fight for a world heavyweight championship. He will make the most of it, but ill more than likely lose. Solis slaps with his punches and his conditioning is questionable. His biggest victory was a tenth-round stoppage against Ray Austin – a guy Wladimir Klitschko knocked out with one-arm in less than two rounds several years ago.

Klitschko-Solis can be seen in the United States on EPIX beginning at 6 PM.

Khan-McCloskey undercard announced

WBA jr. welterweight champion Amir Khan returns home to defend his title against European titlist, Paul McCloskey at the M.E.N Arena on Saturday, April 16. Khan vs. McCloskey will be part of an international, split-site doubleheader featuring WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto’s collision with Victor Ortiz from the MGM Grand Arena at Foxwoods in the United States. HBO will televise both fights here in the United States. U.K. viewers can order the fight on Sky Box Office Sky Box Office £14.95 (app. $25 USD).

The undercard for Khan-McCloskey includes: Matthew Macklin vs. Khoren Gevor, Craig Watson vs. Lee Purdy (British welterweight title) Scott Quigg vs. Andrei Isaeu (WBA super bantamweight interim title), Martin Murray vs. John Carvalho (WBA middleweight interim title),Dezzie Higginson vs. Andy Murray, Jamie Kavanagh vs. TBA, Richard Towers vs. TBA, Adam Etches vs. TBA and Tasif Khan vs. TBA.

“I am proud to showcase some of the most exciting and talented young champions from the Hatton Promotions stable on what I believe is one of the best undercards that has been staged in the history of the M.E.N. Arena,” said Hatton Promotions president Ricky Hatton. “The chief support for this card sees Matthew Macklin take on Khoren Gevor, with the winner looking for a world title shot.”

Tickets for Khan vs. McCloskey, priced at £300, £200, £125, £75, £50 and £40, are on sale now and may be purchased at the M.E.N. Arena Box Office, by calling +44(0)8448478000 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +44(0)8448478000 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, or online at www.ticketmaster.co.uk or www.men-arena.com.

James Kirkland fights Friday

Undefeated jr. middleweight prospect James Kirkland will appear on a special TeleFutura “Sólo Boxeo Tecate” fight card ON Friday, March 18. Kirkland (26-0, 23 KOs) will battle Colombia’s Jhon Berrio (15-8, 11 KOs) in an eight round battle from Orange County, CA .Tickets priced at $30 and $50 are on sale now and available for purchase at www.fightcluboc.com or by calling Roy Englebrecht Promotions at 949-760-3131 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 949-760-3131 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

On March 5, Kirkland stopped Ashandi Gibbs in 34 seconds of the first round. Kirkland is looking to spoil Berrio’s third appearance in the U.S. Berrio has fought veterans Peter Manfredo Jr., top contenders Sherzod Husanov and Emilio Julio.

Unbeaten Luis Ramos Jr. (17-0, 8 KO’s, who recently beat former unified WBC/WBA and IBF lightweight champion Nate Campbell, will appear in the main event.