By James Slater – As has already been reported, Cuban heavyweight hope Odlanier Solis is set to make his ring return on May 19th in Texas. Not seen in action since his 1st-round stoppage loss at the hands of WBC king Vitali Klitschko, when a serious knee injury forced Solis into hospital, the 31-year-old has undergone a series of operations and will at last make his return.
According to a couple of boxing schedule web sites (Boxrec among them), the opponent Solis, 17-1(12) will face will be German tough guy Konstantin Airich. According to Boxrec, the fight will be scheduled for eight-rounds..
33-year-old Airich, 23-5-2(17) is the same height as Solis at 6’1,” and “The Sandman,” unlike Solis (at least according to his critics) always comes in in shape. Having won his last six, Airich has rebounded from his “Prizefighter” disappointment. Airich was KO’d in the 1st-round by a Tye Fields body shot in the U.K tourney last May, but he has beaten some decent guys with decent records since.
An experienced fighter, Airich will nonetheless be having his first fight in the U.S with the fight against Solis. This one looks quite tough to pick. How much of Solis’ heart is still in the game? Will the man who had such a stellar amateur career come in in real fighting shape (remember, Solis has had a full year out, more than enough time for a man who has tipped-in as high as 271-pounds to gain even more weight)?
On the other hand, is Airich, as tough as they come yet somewhat crude, capable of living with the classy skills of Solis?
Certainly, Solis could have picked a much softer comeback foe. I can see this one going the full eight-rounds. If Solis has retained his hunger (the right kind of hunger!) and if he comes in in top shape, his fast handed combinations and good boxing brain should be enough to combat both Airich’s advances and the ring-rust he has no doubt picked up. Airich will enter the ring as a very live underdog though.
Is it too late for Soils, or can the man who will turn 32 next week still live up to his enormous potential?