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IBF calls for heavyweight box-off

After Wladimir Klitschko’s “rerun” against mandatory challenger Tony Thompson last Saturday, the IBF today called for a box off to determine the next mandatory challenger of the younger Klitschko brother including European champion Kubrat Pulev (#3 in the IBF ratings), former light heavyweight and cruiserweight champion Tomasz Adamek (#4), Cuba’s 2004 Olympic gold medalist Odlanier Solis (#5) and Alexander Ustinov from Russia (#6).

In the first round of the box off Pulev is scheduled to fight Solis who just returned to action from a 14 months lay-off due to an injury suffered when challenging WBC champion Vitali Klitschko in March 2011 in Cologne, Germany. In his comeback fight in May in McAllen, Texas, the 32-year-old Cuban defector – who is co-promoted by Ahmet Oner (ARENA Box) and Kathy Duva (Main Events) – scored a lopsided twelve round decision win over Konstantin Airich to claim the IBF intercontinental championship.

“I am convinced that Solis is the man who will finally end the boredom in the heavyweight division”, says Oner. “As an amateur he beat whoever came his way and as a professional he would already be world champion if his knee hadn’t given in. Now the younger Klitschko will have to suffer for Solis’ bad luck against the older brother.”

But of course, before challenging Wladimir Klitschko “La Sombra” will have to beat Kubrat Pulev first. The hard-hitting Bulgarian is one of only very few fighters who could actually beat Solis at the amateurs.

“It’s true that Pulev beat Solis at an amateur tournament in 2002″, states Oner. “But the tournament was in Pulev’s home country Bulgaria and Solis lost a close decision. I think that alone tells you enough about that fight. I hope that for the elimination bout there will be neutral ring officials but I’m sure the IBF will take care of that. There are two things we certainly don’t need in boxing: More boring and easy wins for the Klitschkos and controversial decisions.”




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