The CBZ Newswire

Solis Beats Austin By DQ in WBC Eliminator

by on Dec.18, 2010, under Boxing News

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By Pavel Yakovlev at ringside

MIAMI, FL – Odlanier Solis beat Ray Austin by disqualification at 2:59 of round ten in a WBC heavyweight title elimination match. Austin, badly battered and on the verge of being knocked out, twice wrestled Solis to the floor as the fighters clinched. After the first mauling, referee Tommy Timmons penalized Austin one point. Following the second incident – during which Austin leaned his entire body on top of Solis, causing both fighters to hit the floor with the ropes pinned beneath them – Austin sucker punched Solis. The referee then disqualified Austin.

The bizarre ending followed a devastating assault by Solis, who hurt Austin with a series of lefts and rights midway through the tenth. Austin clinched, then staggered in a delayed reaction to Solis’s punches. Sensing the opportunity to win by knockout, Solis unleashed powerful combinations against the dazed Austin, who tried unsuccessfully to clinch again. Austin’s illegal wrestling seemed to be a desperate attempt to stall Solis. Ringside observers felt that Austin’s final foul – the sucker punch – suggested that Austin sought to be disqualified as a face-saving alternative to losing by knockout.

SOLIS CONTROLS MOST OF THE FIGHT

The bout’s character was evident as early as the first round, and reflected the contrast between the boxers’ styles and physical attributes. Solis stalked Austin, who constantly retreated by stepping backwards or moving laterally to either side. Compact and physically imposing at 6’1½” and 260 lbs, Solis fought out of a semi-crouch and held his gloves high and close to his face, reminiscent of the “peek-a-boo” style used by Floyd Patterson in the 1950s and 1960s. From this position Solis constantly probed his foe with fast and powerful left jabs. By contrast, the 6’6”, 239 ¾” Austin used his superior height and reach to remain slightly outside of Solis’s punching range for much of the fight. Using a slow but constant left jab to cover his retreat, Austin tended to lean slightly backwards, or somewhat to the side to slip blows and create angles from which to counter-punch. Hence, the bout became a “thinking” fight in many ways. Solis patiently pressured his foe, hoping to force Austin to defend ground by punching back, which would in turn enable Solis to counterpunch while moving forward. Austin’s game was to avoid being drawn into Solis’s traps. Patiently jabbing while pulling back, Austin kept his gloves cocked, ready to counter in the event that Solis became impatient and initiated exchanges, or overreached in an effort to connect.

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During the bout, it was obvious that Solis had decisive advantages over his foe in several areas. At 30 years-of-age, Solis is ten years younger than Austin. Solis also possessed a huge advantage in hand speed; he could beat the slow-fisted Austin to the punch, and threw blazing combinations that Austin could not match. Solis’s heavy punching power was also a driving factor in the fight. Austin needed to be especially cautious, as Solis carries one-punch knockout potential in both mitts.

Solis easily won the first three rounds with his fast, powerful left jab. Rarely taking a backward step, Solis forced the action mentally and physically. Lacking his younger opponent’s strength, speed, and power, Austin options were to retreat or engage in exchanges that inevitably favored Solis. Hence, from the start, Austin’s only realistic goal was to survive, wait for Solis to fatigue, and to outbox him in the fight’s later rounds. In the fourth round however Austin did take the offensive, connecting with several decent lefts and rights.

Look out now!

Look out now!

The fight was nearly ended in the fifth, when Solis connected with a series of explosive left hooks. Staggered, Austin was soon knocked on his back by another hard left. Austin arose from the knockdown on wobbly legs, but managed to hang on until his head cleared. In the final minute of the round, Solis seemed passive, possibly because he had expended so much energy trying to finish Austin off.

Curiously, Solis appeared lethargic in the sixth round. Possibly he was fatigued by the action in the previous round. Or, maybe Solis was coasting in order to conserve strength. Whatever the case, Austin fought his way back into the fight during this round. Austin took the round by landing a good right hand early, followed by a series of left jabs later.

Solis attacked Austin with increased vigor in round seven, but Austin withstood the Cuban’s offensive and fought back effectively to win the round. Austin’s best moments in the fight, arguably, occurred late in this round, when he unleashed a series of hard lefts and rights to repel Solis’s assault. Solis came back to win the eighth round, but his punches seemed less forceful than in the early rounds. Solis’s body movement seemed to lack steam. Such was the case again in the ninth round, which was fought on even terms.

But in the tenth Solis found his second wind and unleashed the powerpunches that nearly ended the bout. If Austin had not fouled out of the match in this round, Solis would probably have won by knockout in the eleventh round. Austin, stunned and drained of strength, simply had nothing left to fend off Solis’s assault.

Amazingly, after nine rounds, only one of the judges had Solis winning the fight. Solis led on Mike Ross’s scorecard by 88-82, which is reasonable. But Ged O’Conner had the fight even at 85-85, and Rocky Young favored Austin by a margin of 86-84. This writer had Solis winning after nine rounds, 88-84. Even though Solis seemed fatigued after the fifth round, overall, Solis’s superiority was never in doubt. Throughout the fight, a Solis victory looked inevitable.

As a result of tonight’s win, Solis’s record improves to 17-0, with 11 KO’s. More important is that Solis is now the mandatory challenger for WBC world heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko. The two are expected to meet sometime in the spring. Solis, a Cuban native who defected to the United States in 2006, now lives in Miami, Florida. He is a 2004 Olympic gold medallist, and a former multiple world champion as an amateur.

Based on his showing against Austin, Solis should probably postpone the Klitschko match for another year. The Cuban had extreme difficulty cutting off the ring in tonight’s bout, and was kept at bay by Austin’s left jab and tricky counterpunching. Klitschko, who is bigger, stronger, harder-hitting, and a more sophisticated ring general than Austin, should have little trouble exploiting Solis’s lack of experience. Further, questions persist regarding Solis’s weight and stamina. Solis looked sluggish after the fifth round of tonight’s bout, and he may benefit from better conditioning before taking on Klitschko.

Austin, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, falls to 28-5-4 with the loss. Austin has won 18 bouts by knockout. Over the past decade, Austin fought many of the world’s highest-rated heavyweights, including Vladimir Klitschko, Sultan Ibragimov, Lance Whittaker, Larry Donald, Attila Levin, Andrew Golota, and DaVarryl Williamson.

ROUND-BY-ROUND DESCRIPTION

ROUND ONE: Austin begins the fight aggressively, throwing several left jabs and a long, powerful right at Solis; all of the punches miss. Austin makes good use of his height and reach advantages, and continues to fire left jabs at Solis, who blocks all of the punches. Solis fights out of a semi-crouch, holding his gloves very high and close to his head, similar to the peek-a-boo style used by Floyd Patterson. Solis appears very calm and confident, patiently moving forward to stalk Austin. Solis responds to Austin’s opening salvos by firing powerful left hooks, all of which miss the towering Austin’s head. Shortly afterward, Solis connects with a left hook to the head. Solis unleashes a huge overhand right, which Austin blocks. Both fighters circle each other, jabbing cautiously. Solis stalks, while Austin slowly retreats or circles to the side. Solis lands a right hand to the body. Solis lands a left hook to the head. The fighters clinch. Solis misses an overhand right; Austin responds by landing a couple of light jabs. Solis lands a grazing overhand right. Austin lands several light body punches. Austin lands an overhand right. Solis connects with several left jabs late in the round. SOLIS’S ROUND

ROUND TWO: The pattern continues in this round: Solis stalking, and Austin slowly retreating and circling away. Both fighters fall short with left jabs. Solis starts throwing strong left jabs to the body, in addition to continuing to score with jabs to the head. Solis connects with a good left hook; sweat flies as Austin absorbs the blow. Austin fires a left-right combination, and Solis unleashes several fast, powerful blows from both hands, all of which miss. It is apparent now that Solis’s strategy is to counterpunch while moving forward: he is trying to pressure Austin into punching first. Solis is clearly a tricky and explosive counterpuncher; Austin seems to sense the danger and continues to retreat and move laterally, sometimes throwing jabs. Austin is having trouble piercing Solis’s high guard. Solis lands a strong left jab. It is clear that Solis enjoys a vast advantage over Austin in hand speed. SOLIS’S ROUND

ROUND THREE: Solis continues to stalk as Austin backtracks. Solis lands a left jab to the head, followed by a left jab to the body. Austin fires jabs and occasional rights, most of which miss. Austin swings a huge right hand, which Solis evades. Solis connects with another heavy jab; moments later, he scores with a left hook to the head. Suddenly, Solis abandons his peek-a-boo defense and holds his hands further away from his head; Solis then unleashes a fast combination, including a chopping right to the head that seems to stun Austin. Solis lands several quick lefts and rights, and Austin is in trouble. Austin retreats and circles away until his head clears. Solis lands several left jabs, but Austin takes them well. Solis connects with a powerful left hook to the body, his best punch yet. Solis shakes Austin with a hard right to the head, followed by another left hook to the body. Solis lands a left jab at the end of the round. SOLIS’S ROUND

ROUND FOUR: Solis fires several left jabs from his semi-crouch posture. Austin continues to backpedal while pecking away with the left jab to keep Solis at bay. Solis rocks Austin with a left hook to the head; the fighters then clinch. Solis scores with another left hook. Later in the round, Austin connects with a right to the head, his best punch of the fight yet. Austin follows up with a right to the body, and Solis’s attack seems to slow down. The round ends with Austin firing lefts and rights, most of which miss. EVEN ROUND

ROUND FIVE: Solis continues to stalk Austin, who skillfully pulls back and circles to the side to avoid punches. Solis throws a heavy left jab to the body; moments later, Solis connects with a left hook to the head. Solis unleashes a series of left jabs and left hooks, all of which connect. Suddenly, Solis connects with a fast, powerful right uppercut, and Austin looks hurt. Austin’s legs are wobbly; Solis senses the possibility of a knockout, and opens up with fast, explosive punches from both hands, including overhand rights and left hooks. Another left hook knocks Austin down; he arises, but is clearly hurt. Solis attacks Austin, throwing powerful uppercuts from both hands in an attempt to finish the fight. Desperately, Austin pulls away, trying to remain beyond Solis’s punching range. Solis grazes Austin’s head with an overhand right, then connects with several lefts and rights. Austin however succeeds in avoiding more punishment, and soon regains his senses. For the final 45 seconds of the round, Solis does not press his attack; possibly he is fatigued and needs to recoup energy. SOLIS’S ROUND, PLUS AN EXTRA POINT FOR THE KNOCKDOWN

ROUND SIX: Solis resumes stalking Austin, who backs away while throwing slow left jabs and rights, most of which fall short. Solis fires occasional left jabs, and seems less aggressive than in earlier rounds. Austin connects with his best punch yet, a big right that send beads of sweat flying from Solis’s head. Solis takes the punch well. Solis falls short with a left-right combination. Solis connects with a left hook. Austin connects with a series of left jabs late in the round, as Solis seems passive. It looks as if Solis is trying to conserve or recover his energy. AUSTIN’S ROUND

ROUND SEVEN: Solis slowly presses his attack as Austin continues to retreat. Austin throws left jabs as he pulls back and circles away from Solis. The fighters clinch. Austin connects with several slow, heavy left jabs. Austin attempts a right cross, but Solis beats him to the punch with a hard left hook to the head. Austin continues to back away, covering his retreat with long left jabs. Suddenly, Austin connects with a right uppercut, and a spirited exchange of punches ensues; Solis lands a left hook to the head, and Austin connects with a solid overhand right. Solis lands a left hook to the head, and Austin looks hurt. Surprisingly, Austin responds by landing several clubbing lefts and rights to Solis[s head. Austin lands a solid right uppercut, and the fighters clinch. Austin slips a big left hook from Solis, and counters with a right to the head. AUSTIN’S ROUND

ROUND EIGHT: Solis shows more energy at the beginning of this round, and connects with strong left jabs to the body. Austin continues to retreat and circle to the side, tossing left jabs to keep Solis at bay. Solis connects with a left hook to the head, followed by several lefts and rights as Austin pulls away. Solis connects with a sharp left jab. Solis rocks Austin with a big left hook to the head, followed by a strong right hand. Austin connects with a right to the body. Solis scores with a heavy left jab to the head. Near the end of the round Solis connects with two left jabs and a solid right to the head. SOLIS’S ROUND

ROUND NINE: The same fight pattern in this round, with Solis patiently stalking, and Austin executing a tactical retreat. Although Austin is losing the match, he seems to have figured out how to keep Solis at bay by leaning back, defending, and threatening counterpunches. After a slow beginning to the round, Solis connects with a right to the head, which has no effect on Austin. Austin connects with several left jabs. Solis corners Austin, and connects with a grazing left hook to the head. Austin however shows his ring savvy by grabbing Solis, spinning him, and circling out of the corner. Austin connects with more left jabs. Solis continues to stalk Austin. The crowd starts to chant “Solis! Solis! Solis!” However, Solis seems less energetic than in earlier rounds; the crowd perhaps is trying to inspire him to increase his work rate. Austin connects with a right to the head. Solis looks fatigued. Suddenly, Solis rocks Austin with a big left hook to the head; Austin responds by jabbing and staying out of Solis’s firing range. Solis lands a heavy hook to the body, which Austin takes well. At the end of the round Solis misses with a wild left hook. EVEN ROUND

ROUND TEN: Austin fires left jabs as he retreats and circles away from Solis. Solis falls short with several punches; he seems to have slowed down noticeably. Suddenly Solis connects with a wild right to the head, followed by several lefts and rights. Austin looks hurt and Solis appears to be reinvigorated. Austin succeeds in dodging Solis’s blows, but suddenly staggers sideways, a delayed reaction to Solis’s last punch. Austin is in deep trouble now, and Solis unleashes lefts and rights in an effort to score a knockout. Austin desperately clinches. During the wrestling, Austin pushes Solis’s head down, then leans his entire body weight on top of Solis. Solis stumbles to the floor and the referee deducts a point from Austin for using illegal roughhousing tactics. When the fighting resumes, Solis connects with several more lefts and rights. Austin is hurt and trapped in a corner, but Austin escapes by grabbing Solis and spinning out of the corner. As the end of the round approaches, Austin looks hurt and fatigued. Seconds before the bell, Austin grabs Solis in a bear hug and leans into him, which forces Solis’s back to the ropes. Austin then throws his entire body mass onto Solis, causing the ropes to sag as Solis falls to the floor under Austin’s weight. With great effort, the referee pulls Austin off of Solis. As the fighters arise, Austin sucker punches Solis with a straight right to the head. Simultaneously, the bell rings and the referee disqualifies Austin for throwing an illegal blow. SOLIS WINS BY DISQUALIFICATION AT 2:59 OF ROUND TEN.

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