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Odlanier Solis Finally Making Ring Return May 19 on Solo Boxeo Tecate

Odlanier Solis returns on May 19 in Texas.
Odlanier Solis returns on May 19 in Texas.
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Heavyweight contender Odlanier Solis will finally get back into the ring on May 19, when he headlines a Main Events-promoted edition of Solo Boxeo Tecate, facing Kazakh veteran Konstantin Airich in a 12-round bout from the Pharr Events Center in Pharr, Texas.

Solis (17-1, 12 KO) turned pro in 2007 with much hype, a celebrated Cuban amateur standout who had dominated international competitions, including gold medals at the 2004 Olympics, the World Amateur Championships (2001, 2003, and 2005), and the Pan American Games (1999, 2003).

Thus far his pro career has been disappointing, as he's struggled to keep his weight in check, fighting as high as 271 pounds, and never truly looking "in shape," leading many to question his dedication as a pro fighter. But when he got the call to face Vitali Klitschko in March 2011, he showed up in as good of shape as he's been, really, though he still looked soft tipping the scales at 246¾, and was doing well in the first round before succumbing to a knee injury that put him on the shelf after surgery.

Now 32, Solis probably doesn't have a big window to achieve any substantial goals as a pro, as the Klitschkos hold all four titles still, though Alexander Povetkin does hold the "regular" WBA title. A fight with Airich (23-5, 17 KO) is fine for now, to get him back into the swing of things, and it'll be interesting to see what kind of condition he's in. He was ready to fight late last year, and was scheduled for a bout in Germany, but a legal issue kept him from leaving the United States.

Also featured on the Telefutura broadcast will be prospect Jerry Belmontes of Corpus Christi, who has thus far campaigned between featherweight and lightweight, in an eight-round bout against Dominican lightweight Ramesis Gil (7-3-5, 5 KO). You may recall Gil as the guy who pushed Jamie Kavanagh a lot harder than was expected on the Khan vs Peterson show in December, coming away with the fifth draw of his pro career (his career started a highly unusual 1-0-3). Belmontes (15-0, 5 KO) has fought in the Texas clubs thus far.

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