Solis will get his chance at Klitschko

Solis will get his chance at Klitschko

Published Dec. 18, 2010 12:00 a.m. ET

Undefeated Odlanier Solis earned a fight against WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, winning a title eliminator Friday night when Ray Austin was disqualified in the 10th round.

Solis (17-0) connected with combinations to the head in the 10th, with Austin (28-5-4) seemingly out on his feet and repeatedly holding Solis to avoid additional shots. Referee Tommy Kimmons disqualified Austin with a second remaining in the round after his final clinch nearly sent Solis over the ropes.

''What's the worst that could have happened? I could have knocked him out or make him look ridiculous,'' said Solis, the 2004 Olympic champion from Cuba. ''I made him look ridiculous.''

Despite Solis' apparent dominance, one judge had the fight 85-85, another scored it 88-82 for Solis and the third 86-84 for Austin through first nine rounds.


Solis controlled the pace early with combinations to the head. Austin withstood Solis' early punches until Solis connected with a solid left to the head that floored Austin in the fifth.

As soon Austin reached his feet, he looked toward his corner and indicated he had recovered from Solis' shot. In fact, Austin stayed in the fight the following rounds, landing a lead left jab to the head.

Solis pressured Austin in the ninth and scored with rights to the head.

Austin, stopped in two rounds by IBF champion Wladimir Klitschko in a failed title bid three years ago, gives Solis a chance to defeat Vitali Klitschko.

''He is accurate and has good defense,'' Austin said of Solis. ''He rests and recovers, well, too. The only downside for him could be his chin. I see him being the next champion. He is good.''

Solis weighed in at 260 pounds, 21 more than Austin.

Earlier, undefeated Tavoris Cloud successfully defended the IBF light-heavyweight title, unanimously outpointing Colombia's Fulgencio Zuniga.

Cloud, from Tallahassee, landed effective shots to the head throughout the second defense of his 175-pound title, but couldn't finish off Zuniga.

Cloud (22-0) had winning scores of 116-109, 117-108 and 118-108 from the three judges.

''I know I had better skills, but he obviously came into this fight in good shape,'' Cloud said. ''I only give myself a 'B' performance. I will tell you, I took this man seriously because I knew he was going to come to fight.''

Zuniga dropped to 24-5-1.

Ricardo Mayorga, the former WBC welterweight and super welterweight world champion, stopped Michael Walker in the ninth round. Mayorga was fighting for the first time since his 12th-round knockout loss to Shane Mosley in September 2008.