Odlanier Solis To Face Fres Oquendo In May?

by James Slater -It looks like unbeaten 29-year-old Cuban heavyweight prospect Odlanier Soils will be facing proven contender and former world title challenger "Fast" Fres Oquendo on May 22nd in Miami, Florida. This is the word according to FightNews, who say the fight is likely to happen (the bout is also up as happening on BoxRec). This is an intriguing fight and it will also be the 2004 Olympic gold medallist's toughest test on paper thus far..

A pro since April of 2007, Solis - who defected from Cuba and now lives in Hamburg, Germany - has won 13 straight, scoring 9 KO's or stoppages. However, the 6'1".5" wannabe champion has had to listen to his share of criticism due to the perceived excess weight he has carried into some of his fights. Weighing-in as high as 259-pounds for a bout, Solis has forced some to question his desire and willingness to train at his hardest. And in truth, though he has undeniable skill, Solis has not exactly sparkled yet in a paid fight - even to the extent that the oft-stopped Julius Long, all 7'1" of him, was able to last the full eight rounds against him back in late 2007.

Considering how Long had been stopped in quick time by guys like Tye Fields and Audley Harrison, the fact that Solis could not budge him caused some to question his punching power. Solis has stopped a number of so-so opponents since, but it's fair to say he has not exploded onto the pro scene. It's unlike he will be adding anything like a highlight-reel stoppage to his record when he gets in there with the tough and durable Oquendo.

Oquendo - who, it seems, will now never get the rematch with James Toney he so badly wants - is rarely stopped. At 29-5(18), the 36-year-old Puerto Rican has only been beaten inside schedule by John Ruiz (TKO by 11) and by the murderous-punching David Tua (TKO by 9) - and "The Big O" was acquitting himself well in both bouts prior to the stoppage. There is little doubt the man who has wins over good names such as Obed Sullivan and David Izon (stopping both) and who was unlucky not to have been given the nod in fights against Evander Holyfield and Toney, will enter the ring on May 22nd confident of victory.

Taller than Solis, more experienced at pro level and angry as hell due to what he feels the judges did to him last December, when he was sure he'd done enough to have out-pointed "Lights Out," Oquendo just might pull this one out. A risky test for Solis - one in which he doesn't figure to look great even if he wins, so tricky and hard to hit clean can Oquendo be - the Cuban might end up wishing he'd picked someone else to move up in class against in May.

In what appears to be a definite distance fight, Oquendo is my pick to win the ten-rounder by close decision. Solis will have made a huge statement, however, if he CAN go in there and get a stoppage win over the veteran.

Article posted on 07.04.2009

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