#5 IBF, #10 WBC Odlanier Solis (20-1, 13 KO’s) will be taking a huge gamble in facing #8 IBF Tony Thompson (38-4, 26 KO’s) on March 22nd in a fight that will take place in Turkey. The fight has been signed and the two are ready to battle it out. Both guys have recently fought for world titles against the Klitschko brothers, and both have been stopped. Thompson was knocked out by IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in the 6th round in 2012, and Solis was halted in the 1st round by former WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko in March of 2011.
Solis, 33, hasn’t done a whole lot since his defeat by Klitshko. Solis lost a year of his career due to a knee injury following the loss to Klitschko. Since recovering from his knee problem, Solis has won his last three fights in defeating Konstantin Airich, Leaf Larsen and Yakup Saglam. However, Solis has not looked particularly impressive, and he’s continued to battle weight problems that have plagued him since he turned pro in 2007. Only 6’1″, Solis routinely fights in the 250-270 region, and all that weight puts a lot of stress on his knees.
That’s likely the reason why Solis has had knee problems. Solis was a slender 200 lbs. while fighting in the amateurs in Cuba, where he captured an Olympic gold medal in 2004. However, after coming to the United States, Solis’ weight has ballooned to massive proportions. He’s still very fast in terms of hand speed, but carrying around the extra weight slows down his footwork, and has limited his ability to throw combinations like he used to throw when he was in the amateur ranks.
The 6’5″ Thompson had two impressive stoppage wins over Britain’s David Price in 2013. Things were looking really good for Thompson until he was beaten by Kubrat Pulev by a 12 round unanimous decision last August in an IBF heavyweight eliminator bout. Thompson looked flabby around the midsection, and he didn’t seem to have trained as hard as he should have. He ran out of gas after the 4th round, and this enabled Pulev to come on and win a decision.
Thompson has the size to beat Solis, but the question is does he have the stamina to get the job done. If Thompson can only fight hard for the first part of the fight then he’ll likely lose if Solis keeps the pressure on him.