Odlanier Solis Defeats Airich, Captures IBF Intercontinental Heavyweight TitleWritten by Vinny Davis
PHARR, TX USA – All eyes were focused on the Heavyweight bout between Cuban native Odlanier Solis and Konstantin Airich of Germany as they took to the ring for their scheduled 12-round championship fight at the Pharr Convention Center.
Solis (18-1, 12 KO's) defeated Airich (22-5-2, 16 KO's) by unanimous decision to capture the IBF Intercontinental Heavyweight title.
The fighter known as "La Sombra" returned to the ring for the first time in fourteen months after a knee injury suffered in his last bout with Vitali Klitschko for the WBC Heavyweight title and never showed signs of fatigue or ring rust against Airich.
"I feel real good," said Solis. "I had everything I needed for this fight."
In the first two rounds, Solis appeared to be very cautious and somewhat stiff while Airich seemed confident as both fighters stood toe-to-toe trading punches with neither opponent having much effect on each other.
The third round was clearly the turning point for Solis as he caught Airich with a series of punches that backed him into a corner of the ring.
"When you focus during the fight, you will always see the holes that you can punch through to affect your opponent," said Solis.
As the fight continued through the next five rounds, Airich's face started to swell up as Solis never stopped with his relentless attack of hooks and heavy jabs. The former Olympian's defensive skills became more apparent in the round and Airich's counter attack had very little effect against the Cuban exile.
Near the end of the eighth round, Solis connected with a heavy jab that snapped the German's head back and got the crowd's attention as they let out cheers for the Cuban fighter.
Courtesy of Danny Castaneda
Solis continued to control the next two rounds with hooks to both the head and body of Airich while the defending minor title holder seemed to be tired and frustrated throughout the remainder of the fight.
By the twelfth round, it was clear Solis was confident that the match was his as the heavy handed Cuban decided to "show boat" the rest of the way.
The three judges at ringside scored the minor title contest 118-110, 119-109, and 119-109; all in favor of the winner, and new IBF Inter Continental Heavyweight title holder, Odlanier Solis.
"This fight was very important to me," said Solis. "Coming back from a layoff and winning a title feels super good,"
Courtesy of Danny Castaneda
With a disappointing loss in Solis's last fight with Vitali Klitschko, he is hoping to get another shot at the world heavyweight title.
"I am always ready to fight a Klitschko," said Solis.
In other action, Jerry Belmontes (16-0, 5 KO's) of Corpus Christi returned to the ring after an 11-month lay-off and defeated Ramesis Gil (7-4-5, 5 KO's) of Puerto Rico by unanimous decision in their eight-round clash.
"I didn't think the lay-off would affect me but it did," said Belmontes. "My timing and my speed were off."
Gil was the aggressor and landed several punches that appeared to have an effect on Belmontes early in the fight. Throughout the fight, Gil switched styles from orthodox to unorthodox and it seemed to give him the advantage over Belmontes.
"It was confusing because I hadn't seen a style like that in a while," said Belmontes.
Though the judges awarded the match to Belmontes, there were some in the crowd that thought Gil won the match.
"He was tough and had a good chin," said Belmontes. "I hit him with everything I had and couldn't stop him."
In local action, Angel Hernandez of McAllen improved to 5-1 as he defeated Ramiro Torres (4-24-1) by TKO in the 4th round. Also, Raul Tovar (10-5-1) of Mission won by unanimous decision in four- round bout against DeShaun Williams (4-10) of Galveston and Oscar Tovar Jr. (5-1) of Alton avenged his first professional loss of his career as he scored a 2nd round TKO victory over Gilbert Cancino (1-1) of Brownsville.