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Klitschko retains title

Vitali Klitschko kept hold of his WBC title and ended the fight in just 179 seconds

Posted Mar 21, 2011 by Weekend Round-Up

vitali klitschko

The crowd that gathered in Cologne to witness the clash between defending WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko and Cuba’s former Olympic champion Odlanier Solis as the bout ended in the first round after just 179 seconds of action.

Klitschko retained his title when he caught his opponent with a power-packed hook that sent Solis to the ground and caused a serious knee injury in doing so. Klitschko appeared fuming when it was initially said that Solis would not be continuing with the fight and it was clear that the Ukrainian spoke for the spectators when he voiced his disappointment.

Despite the fact that the heavyweight bruiser is not normally one to disagree with, on this occasion, the referee ruled that 30 year old Cuban could not continue and Solis was rushed to hospital where doctors confirmed that he had severe tears to his anterior cruciate ligament and external meniscus, as well as cartilage damage in his right knee.

Solis was the top ranked challenger to dethrone Klitschko from his WBC throne but Ahmet Oener, the Cuban’s promoter, said that little will come from this other than the need for Solis to take a long rest in order to recover.

It has been mooted that an injury to Solis’ knee was known about prior to the fight but a spokesperson for the Cologne Arena said that whilst they knew about the injury, they didn’t believe it would affect Solis’ ability to fight and we certainly didn’t anticipate what happened. The Cuban former Olympic champion went into Saturday night’s fight with a very healthy fight record having won all 17 of his professional matches and twelve by knockout – this bout is a clear blot in an otherwise unspoiled copybook so it seems a shame if his management knew about the risk of injury why the decision was made to allow the fight to continue. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

The fight was in its infancy when Klitschko delivered the blow so there wasn’t a clear favourite making a rematch in the future even more exciting. If you watched the fight, you’d have been forgiven for thinking that you were watching it at home with special effects on as Klitschko’s punch sent Solis coiling backwards almost in perfect slow motion.

Klitschko apologised for his outburst following the decision by the referee to end the fight and made a wholehearted apology to Solis for causing the knee injury. Solis said that it will take him longer to get over the thought of losing than it will to recover from a knee injury.

The match was watched intently by Adam Booth, the trainer and manager of WBA title holder David ‘hayemaker’ Haye, who is set to fight Vitali Klitschko’s brother Wladimir in a unification bout in the summer. The hayemaker is also thought to be in line to face Vitali at some point so Booth was obviously on a scouting mission to identify weak spots in the Klitschko brothers’ game.

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