Photos: Public Address
On Saturday night in Cologne (Germany) WBC no. 1 rated heavyweight Odlanier Solis was stopped on his way to dethroning champion Vitali Klitschko by a serious knee injury. “La Sombra” was brought to the hospital directly after the fight where an anterior cruciate ligament rupture, articular cartilage damage and meniscal tear in the right knee were diagnosed. “I haven’t seen a knee torn apart like this in a long time,” senior physician Dr. Joern Michael stated after doing an arthroscopy.
Solis will most probably undergo surgery on Thursday at the clinic of knee specialist Dr. Jürgen Eichhorn who was recommended to Solis and promoter Ahmet Oner by Prof. Walter Wagner, head of the German boxing commission’s medical department.
“We want to guarantee the best possible treatment for Solis,” says Oner. “It is our goal to bring him back to the ring as soon as possible. But of course only if he is 100 percent fit and ready to fight.”
Oner hopes that Vitali Klitschko will give his mandatory challenger another shot at the title after the unfortunate accident of last Saturday. “Vitali knows exactly what it means to lose a fight due to an injury,” adds Oner. “He has been asking Lennox Lewis for a re-match for years and years and it didn’t materialize. We hope that Vitali will not put Solis in a similar situation like he has been in. Solis has earned a second chance.”
Most sepctators saw Solis winning the first round against Vitali before hurting his knee when he accidentally fell on it after Vitali had caught him off-balaance with a flash knockdown.
“I was just unlucky,” says Solis. “I didn’t even feel the shot that he landed on me and it certainly did not take me out. I felt that there was something wrong with my leg and I lost my balance. When I went down I knew immediately that there was something wrong. I promise that I will be back soon and even stronger — if I get a second chance I will win the title.”
At the time of the stoppages the odds had dropped from 7:1 for a Solis win to only 2:1 after “La Sombra” had connected with some nice clean shots and accurate counter punches. There were more than 1 billion Euro bet on the fight worldwide.
“The world was watching and waiting for Vitali Klitschko to be dethroned,” says Oner. “The first round was exactly as we had promised: exciting, spectacular and competitive heavyweight boxing on a very high level. I think the fight started calls for a re-match.”
If the knee surgery goes on as planned Solis would be able to start rehab training immediately and be ready to fight again in six to nine months. “Hopefully against Vitali again,” states Oner.