Vitali Klitschko to fight Solis in March

Vitali Klitschko will defend his WBC heavyweight title against

undefeated Cuban fighter Odlanier Solis on March 19 in Cologne.

Solis, the 2004 Olympic champion, is 17-0 with 12 knockouts and

is the No. 1 ranked WBC challenger. Vitali Klitschko is 41-2, with

38 KOs.

”Solis is a very experienced, quick and uncomfortable opponent

and I will not underestimate him,” the 39-year-old Klitschko said

through his management on Tuesday.

”I’ll show him in the ring that I am the true champion,” the

Ukrainian said. ”The bet remains in the Klitschko family.”

Klitschko’s younger brother Wladimir holds the IBF and WBO

titles and will defend them against unbeaten British challenger

Dereck Chisora in Mannheim, Germany, on April 30.

The only belt the Klitschko brothers don’t own is the WBA, which

is held by David Haye of Britain. Plans for a fight between Haye

and one of the Klitschko brothers keep falling through, although

Haye has said he hopes to fight Wladimir this year.

Solis earned the fight against Vitali when he won an eliminator

in December against Ray Austin, who was disqualified in the 10th


The Miami-based Cuban said Vitali had been fighting deadweights

in recent years and predicted he would take the belt away ”and

leave Cologne as the world champion.”

Klitschko’s last fight was in October when he won a unanimous

decision against Shannon Briggs in Hamburg.