Doctors in Cologne, Germany have confirmed a legitimate and serious knee injury to heavyweight fighter Odlanier Solis, according to the AFP. Solis crumbled to the mat near the end of the first round of his fight yesterday with Vitali Klitschko, and had serious trouble getting back to his feet, forcing the referee to call off the fight.
[A] diagnosis at Cologne's University Hospital revealed Solis tore his cruciate ligament and damaged cartilage in the fall, while further tests on Sunday will reveal whether he needs surgery.
"I do not think there will be any other outcome than Solis will have to take a long break to recover," said his promoter Ahmet Oener after the WBC's top-ranked challenger limped out of hospital on crutches.
According to German daily Die Welt, Solis had already had problems in his right knee.
Solis (17-1, 12 KO) was doing as well as anyone has against Vitali Klitschko since Klitschko's 2008 comeback after four years out of the sport. What happened was unfortunate to say the least. It robbed folks of what just might have developed into a truly interesting heavyweight fight for once.
In The Telegraph, Klitschko rival David Haye was quick to blame Solis' poor conditioning:
"Now that's why you shouldn't have excess body fat. A lean 30 year-old, healthy athlete shouldn't have joints or ligament popping for no reason," said Haye. "Solis knew how to beat Vit, but years of obesity stopped him being able to execute. He will unfortunately go down as yet another fat bum."
Haye, who lost to Solis 10 years ago in the amateur ranks, fought a man who was 46lbs lighter that night. Solis weighed in at 248.5 lbs against Klitschko.
"He beat me 10 years ago when he weighed 46lbs less. That's my point. He used to be ripped. Why become obese before a huge fight?"
Haye may be fundamentally right, but it's a bit comical to suggest that Solis "became obese before a huge fight." Solis hasn't weighed in at that 200-pound limit in years now. He didn't even finish his amateur career at 200 pounds. And in fact, the 247 he weighed on the scales for this fight (the 248.5 reported by Gareth Davies is the only time I've seen it reported as 248.5) tied his professional career low for a weigh-in. It's still heavier than almost anyone thinks he should fight by at least 15 pounds, but this is not a new development, as Haye is painting it to be. It's 13 pounds less than Solis weighed in December against Ray Austin, and 25 less than the bloated 271 he weighed against Monte Barrett in September 2009, which was Solis' career high. Haye's not exactly totally on point here, but his point is fair.
Hopefully we'll see Solis re-dedicate himself to his sport when he does return. He's a huge talent and it just seems such a waste for him to marginalize himself the way he does. The injury could have happened to anyone, even David Haye and his six-pack abs, but he's never going to escape the idea that he's too fat unless he stops looking too fat. That's about as simple and plain as I can make it.