Boxing News: Solis/Welliver, Oakey/Cleverly, Wayne Johnsen

When Samuel Peter and Vitali Klitschko fight for the WBC world heavyweight championship this Saturday in Berlin a designated future champion will make his appearance on the undercard. Heavyweight sensation Odlanier Solis (11-0, 7 kos) will face “Hillyard Hammer” Chauncy Welliver (35-4-5, 12 kos) for the vacant WBC international championship belt..

The international title had been relinquished by “Black Panther” Juan Carlos Gomez before he went into his Final Elimination bout with Vladimir Virchis on September 27th. After his unanimous decision win over Virchis Gomez is now the no. 1 contender and will be challenging the winner of Klitschko vs. Peter.

“Juan’s way shows where the WBC international title can lead to”, says Solis. “This is an important step for me. I will beat Welliver and win the belt.”

“I expect a very good fight and a clear win for Solis”, adds promoter Ahmet Öner. “Welliver has never been knocked out before in more than 40 pro-fights. This is a chance for Odlanier to prove that he is a real knockouter.”


Commonwealth light-heavyweight title challenger Tony Oakey says it will be a question of experience over youth in Liverpool on Friday night.

Oakey challenges 21-year-old unbeaten Welsh hot-shot Nathan Cleverly at the Everton Park Sports Centre on October 10 live and exclusive on Sky Sports.

And the former British, Commonwealth and WBU champion insists that he will come out on top - even if he is preparing for the fight of his life.

"I won the Commonwealth title after a similar number of fights, so I know just how hungry Cleverly will be," said 32-year-old from Portsmouth.

"He's young and his fresh and he's got good wins on his record he'll be dangerous.

"Nathan is the upcoming fighter, but I have proved myself many times before and I'll do so again on Friday night.

"I'm not taking anything for granted though because as soon as you step through the ropes into a professional boxing ring then you get my respect."

Oakey lost his last fight, a KO defeat against Dean Francis in a thriller in Portsmouth, but has vowed to set the record straight.

"He caught me with a great shot and I did well to get up at all," said Oakey, who was eventually counted out.

"Funnily enough, the defeat was easier to swallow than my losses against Peter Haymer and Matthew Barney, where I believe I was robbed.

"Beating Cleverly will give me the chance to fight Francis again, and that's what I want.

"I've still got a lot left in the tank, and I've still got ambitions to fight for a European and world title.

"I'm concentrating on Cleverly and not looking too far ahead, but there is a lot at stake on Friday night."


Lyndhurst, New Jersey- One thing you can count on at any Wayne Johnsen fight is that his faithful "Wayniacs" will make their presence felt. Wayne "Lights Out" Johnsen's deep and growing fan base always packs the house anytime he fights. Standing and cheering from the opening bell until long after the final punch is thrown, the "Wayniacs" make you feel like you're at a soccer stadium somewhere in Europe. There is already a buzz in North Jersey as word spreads that he will be making his homecoming debut when he fights in his hometown of Lyndhurst on October 29.

“ My fan base is great. From playing multiple sports all around the tri-state area I have made a lot of friends. There're from all over Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania. It's great, they're loud and they give me that extra push to win. I also coach football at Lyndhurst High School so all my players come out. It's going to get really loud on October 29th.”

Born and raised in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, Johnsen is an all-around athlete. While on a football scholarship for the University of New Haven, Johnsen blew out his knee and turned to boxing to stay in shape.

"I hurt my knee playing college football," says the 29-year-old. "I had 3 surgeries on my knee and was getting back in shape. I decided to box to stay in shape. Some trainers noticed me and said I had a lot of raw talent, so I started boxing."

Having only a handful of amateur fights, Johnsen has been successful since turning pro in 2003, compiling a record of 17-3 with 9 KOs. In 2007, Johnsen was given the opportunity of a lifetime when he was selected and then qualified to compete in the third season of the popular television boxing reality series "The Contender."

From the onset, Johnsen's raw athletic ability made an impression on the show's trainers.

Sugar Ray Leonard was quoted as saying, "When I think of Wayne Johnsen I think of a winner." The hall of fame fighter also served as the show's host.

After beating Miguel Hernandez in the first round of the tournament, Johnsen fell short in the semifinals against Jaidon Codrington.

Johnsen is looking to rebound after suffering a tough decision loss to veteran Sam Soliman in his last fight.

"I've been trying to have a fight here for 4 years. It's a great venue and it's right in my backyard. I am fired up to get in the ring. Lyndhurst is going to be treated to an exciting night of action on October 29 and I am excited to be part of a card that is stacked with talented fighters."

Wayne will be part of an action-packed card that features former world champion Vivian Harris, undefeated up-and-coming prospect Lujan Simon, as well as former decorated amateur standouts Carlos Zambrano and Alex Perez.

"This is my debut too," says new promoter and fellow Lyndhurst resident Mike Indri.
"I couldn't find a more fitting way, in my premier event, than to have Wayne Johnsen, Lyndhurst's hometown hero, fighting at our landmark Medieval Times. It's great for Wayne, its great for Dignity Promotions and its especially great for Lyndhurst."

The event, "Knockout Knights", will be the first boxing event held at Medieval Times since 1997.

"I am proud to deliver such a quality card for our great fans. Our premier event will feature big names and exciting young prospects. Dignity Promotions is committed to bringing a competitive, action-filled night of boxing on October 29th." Said Indri, President and CEO of Dignity Promotions.

"Knockout Knights" is expected to have 8 exciting bouts. The Medieval Times Castle is located at 149 Polito Avenue in Lyndhurst, NJ.

Tickets are priced at $50.00 (Ringside), $40.00 (Reserved), and $30.00 (General Admission). VIP-Corporate tables are also available.
To purchase tickets, call (201) 741-4994, go to, or call the Medieval Times Box Office at (201) 933-2220. Doors open at 6:30 pm, first bout begins at 7:30 pm.

Article posted on 05.10.2008

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