Vitali Klitschko only had to work three minutes today in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Odlanier Solis did just fine for a couple of minutes against Vitali Klitschko, but unfortunately that's as far as we got to go today.
Klitschko landed a right hand above the left temple of Solis, jolting the Cuban contender with little time left in the opening round. But then Solis' legs gave out on him, with his left knee straightening out and locking, sending him to the mat. Solis had terrible trouble getting up off the mat, and once he did, his legs both seemed to give on him again, forcing the referee to call the fight.
After the bout, a stretcher was brought to the ring, but Solis did get to his feet. He limped to congratulate Vitali and greet his brother, Wladimir, but then returned to the corner. The entire Solis corner looked completely deflated after the fight, while the crowd jeered relentlessly. Vitali himself reacted with anger to the fight stoppage, seemingly believing that Solis had quit on the fight.
But it doesn't seem that way to me, and Sky Sports broadcaster Jim Watt was adamant that he didn't feel as though this was a dive or anything of the sort either. Solis was fighting well. He'd gotten himself into the best shape he's been in for a long while. And his legs gave on him. It happens. It's unfortunate, especially because even in three minutes Solis seemed to have a better gameplan than most Klitschko opponents have over an entire fight, but it does happen.
Klitschko improves to 42-2 (39 KO), while Solis drops to 17-1 (12 KO). If the leg injury is what it seems, I hope we see Solis come back strong. It didn't take long to see he was legitimately in a different class than the rest of the recent big heavyweight fight challengers.
We'll be covering the Rigondeaux-Casey fight live in the same live fight thread here. Stick around for post-fight analysis of that one, too.