BoxingScene.com reports today that Cuban heavyweight Odlanier Solis has been released by Top Rank and signed with Don King. Though you might think immediately that Top Rank was tired of trying to get Solis into fights, promoter Bob Arum says the split was amicable:
"Solis is better off with King in the heavyweight division, which we're not active in. They offered us our money back and everything, and so he's going to work with Don King."
Solis (16-0, 12 KO) defected from Cuba along with many other talented fighters a few years back, and wound up fighting in Germany for his pro debut in April 2007. He made his U.S. debut against Kevin Burnett in January 2009. After stopping Monte Barrett in two rounds last October, Solis has fought just once in 2010, easily handling Carl Davis Drumond in March.
At 6'1" and routinely packing too much weight onto his frame (he came in at 271 for the Barrett fight and a bit over 268 for Drumond), Solis has the skills but many doubt if he has the dedication to his craft necessary to reach his full potential. Add in that he's already 30 years old, and frankly the window of opportunity is not as big as it should be. In a lot of ways, his pro career is similar to that of Alexander Povetkin, another much hyped amateur who has come into the pro game and done relatively little to fulfill his promise thus far. Neither of them are getting younger, and the "baby steps" they're taking are completely unnecessary for fighters of their caliber and pedigree.
The good news for Solis is that King knows the heavyweight division, and Solis is already familiar with fighting in Germany and other European countries where the real heavyweight money is. King has managed to get guys like Kali Meehan in line for title opportunities, so if Solis wants it, there's no reason it won't happen as soon as next year.