News March 2011

Solis and Rigo: Two Cubans who never saw round 2

19.03.11

Klitschko retains

In what promised to be a much needed night of pedigree boxing and "what if" fights, the excitement soon hit the wall tonight as Odlanier Solis and Guillermo Rigondeaux both respectively disappointed and thrilled in rapid succession of one another.

The fortunes of the Cuban friends couldn't have been more different.

On one hand we had Solis, who was challenging for the WBC Heavyweight title of the world against 6'8 Vitali Klitschko in Germany.

The decorated Cuban heavyweight amateur, a multiple world champion and Olympic gold medalist limped out of the fight after crashing out of the action within just a couple of minutes of the opening round.

The challenger started brightly, using his footwork and speed to create angles and unload quick, chopping right hands - before a nothing punch thrown by Klitschko clipped his left glove, tipping him off balance and backwards onto the canvas.

His brain seem detached from his legs despite the shot not being concussive nor landing properly. Solis arose to his feet and began limping badly from one leg to the other.

The referee waved the fight off.

Vitali was clearly angry and steamed over to the corner of Solis to unload some harsh critiscsm before his younger brother Wladimir could steer him back to the centre of the ring to celebrate.

Solis looked forlorn and his promoter Ahmet Ohner of Arenabox promotions looked positively livid with the events that unfolded just moments earlier.

By the time the announcement was called out that Vitali had won by first round KO, the challenger was up on his feet, gingerly stepping around the ring - bizarrely fiddling with his precious Spongebob necklace.

It was either a truly disappointed man with a legit injury, or a charade that he needed to continue to cover for the fact he'd been robbed of his senses following a punch.

Only a good doctor will determine the truth in the matter.

Lacking the pedigree and amateur experience of Solis, Willie "big bang" Casey at least showed courage as he made his first attempt at a world title.

Casey gave it his very best for opening moments before the world class of 'Rigo' curbed his enthusiasm, in the shape of a thunderous body shot.

The brave Irishman tried to shake it off by circling outside on the ropes - but it was like a snake chasing a mouse, as the venom sank in.

Pinned against the ropes, a big uppercut sent Casey crashing.

The referee took a big look and then decided to send the condemned man out to face his fate.

Rigo then stepped in with pixel perfect accuracy and began peppering the challenger with crisp and powerful punches until the ref dived in and stopped the fight.

The Irishman conceded afterwards that "this was boxing" and then paid Rigondeaux his dues, before promising to get back into the gym following a long break at home with his wife and kids.

Now boxing fans, especially Irish and Canadian ones will patiently wait for tonights big fight between Lucian Bute and Brian Magee for the IBF super middlweight title in Canada - after a rapid ending to these two fights that have already happened tonight, we all hope that the action at least lasts longer than the opening round.

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