Solis defeats Airich

boxing2004 Olympic gold medalist Odlanier Solis (18-1) won a wide unanimous decision to dethrone IBF intercontinental champion Konstantin Airich (23-6-2, IBF#12 / WBO#11) in front of 2,500 fans at Pharr Convention Center in Pharr (Texas).

After a 14 months layoff due to the bad knee injury he had suffered in his World Boxing Council (WBC) world heavyweight championship bout against Vitali Klitschko, Solis clearly dominated the one-sided bout from the opening bell without showing the devastating speed and power which had led him to quick KO wins over former world title challengers Monte Barrett and Carl Davis Drummond in 2009 and 2010.

In the third round "La Sombra" stepped on the gas for a nice combination which seemed to hurt Airich but the game German managed to survive the attack. But whenever Airich tried to get close enough to put pressure on Solis, the Cuban defector and former amateur standout showed his excellent defensive skills. After taking a little break in the middle rounds Solis went for the knockout in the 11th and 12th but Airich hung in there despite losing his mouthpiece twice in the 11th. In the end, the judges scored the bout 118-110, 119-109, 119-109 in favour of Solis..

"I felt that I had too much respect for Solis", said a disappointed Airich after the fight. "I didnít go in as aggressively as I could have because I know that he is an excellent counterpuncher. I just didnít deserve to win this fight but I will be back."

"Konstantin showed a good fight and a good chin", states Solis. "I tried to knock him out but he can take a shot. I also know that he is a hard-hitter so I tried to stay away from him. After all I am happy that my knee is well and that I could prove that I can go the championship distance even after my long injury break. Iím back. Now I want to fight more regularly to get back in the best possible shape. I know that there are a lot of things I can still work on and improve. But I am happy that I won the fight and took the belt as I had promised."

Promoter Ahmet Oner was not happy with the performance of his Cuban star. "We all know that Solis can do better", says Oner. "He looked a little rusty after the long lay-off. I wanted him to send a statement to the Klitschkos. After this performance we know that there is still a way to go. Now I have to do my job and get Solis fights against good opponents so he can improve and show that he is a world champion in the making."

Article posted on 20.05.2012

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