Former Cuban amateur standout Odlanier Solis (17-1) is set to return to action on October 14th in Germany. On March 19th "La Sombra“ slipped at the end of a competitive first round against WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko and suffered various knee injuries forcing him to undergo three surgeries in March and April.
Now the 31-year-old Olympic gold medalist and four-time world amateur champion is scheduled to fight for the vacant IBF intercontinental championship against Varol Vekiloglu from Berlin. Vekiloglu (18-2-1) had won the IBF East/West European title in the light heavyweight division and moved up to heavyweight in June.
"Solis proved against Vitali that he is one of very few fighters in the world who can actually beat him“, states promoter Ahmet Oner. "If his knee hadn’t given in he would have won that fight. But anyways, we are happy that everything looks as if he will be fine and able to return in October.
"After I heard the diagnosis I thought this injury might end his career but his knee is developing very well and – most importantly – Odlanier wants to come back as soon as possible. He is working very hard for his second chance. This fight can hopefully get him back on track and in line for another title shot.“
Adds Odlanier Solis, "I can’t wait to get back into the ring. Until I fought Vitali I was merely a mercenary soldier. Now that I know how easy it is to become champion of the world this is what I want and what I’m working and living for.“
The deal for the fight was made between Oner and Vekiloglu’s trainer and manager Robert Rolle who had secured the challenger status for the IBF intercontinental title at the IBF Convention back in May before even thinking about a possible opponent. "Varol wanted the big fights so now he has to prove himself in a very big fight“, said Rolle.
"Actually it doesn’t get much bigger than this. Solis looked very well against Vitali. He is one of the best heavyweight contenders out there. His amateur merits speak for themself. But then again it is always hard to come back after an injury layoff. We are definitely up for the challenge and looking forward to the fight.“