Vitali Klitschko to fight Solis in March

Published Jan. 10, 2011 12:00 a.m. ET

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 round.


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.