AFTERMATH: Klitschko Clubs Solis, Bute Batters Magee, Rigondeaux Railroads Casey, Etc.

*****

Vitali Klitschko stopped woebegone Odlanier Solis in one heat in Cologne, Germany, to defend his K2 heavyweight championship when Solis could not continue after blowing out his knee. Lots of cognosenseless types want to keep the fiction rolling that Solis was on his way to some sort of upset when the fight was stopped, but they are conveniently ignoring the fact that replays clearly showed a wild-swinging Solis put on Queer Street from a cuffing counter right to the head. His legs, unused to such strenuous activity, simply gave out as he tried to maintain his balance, a precarious feat, no doubt. Solis crashed to the mat with a thud and flopped around a bit before beating the count on rickety pins.

After referee Jose Garcia stopped the bout, Klitschko stormed across the ring—trying to shove aside his brother, Wladimir, on the way—to berate his loudmouthed foe. An unreliable source told The Cruelest Sport what Klitschko said to his underwhelming opponent: “You fat tub of guts…who ever gave you the idea that you could fight? Lyle Fitzsimmons?” One supposes that Solis did very well going nearly three minutes without being dropped on his ample derrière by the first significant punch Klitschko landed.

You would have to work fairly hard to find a less impressive amateur standout and Olympic gold medal winner than Solis, whose ability to impress certain gullible media types, who made him seem like the biggest—ahem—thing to come out of Cuba since the Buena Vista Social Club, is his only accomplishment thus far in boxing. Even Top Rank cut him loose when he was on the verge of a title shot.

To make matters worse, The Sun reported that Solis was injured before the bout and that his team knew about it and proceeded with the fight anyway:

Cologne Arena spokesman Malte Mueller-Michaelis confirmed: “We knew it, but we didn’t want to let it jeopardize the fight against Vitali. His manager Jose Perez knew about the previous problem, but it was thought it would go away if there was enough training and the muscle stabilized the knee.”

*****

Like the maiden voyages of the Titanic or the Hans Hedtoft, Epix found its initial sail into the choppy boxing seas disastrous. From the remote studio set up for a bout taking place in Germany to Lennox Lewis as an analyst to the absurd fight itself, Epix ran into icebergs, rogue waves, and whirlpools all within half of an hour of going on the air.

Lewis, the master of malapropisms, mixed metaphors, and the mumbles, has now taken on a Plan Nine From Outer Space quality; he is so bad sometimes that he can only be considered good. Even his hat had an air of camp about it. With the bout over in three minutes, Epix had lots of air time to fill, so viewers were treated to four—four!—analysts deconstructing an event that last roughly 180 seconds. Boxing needs all the help it can get in the U.S. these days, and we should hope that Epix does not abandon it after its first fiasco of a foray.

*****

Exciting Lucian Bute, now 28-0, overcame a slow start to sandblast Brian Magee in the 10th round at the Bell Centre in Montreal, scoring multiple knockdowns along the way. Over 12,000 Quebecois showed up to see Bute—and perhaps some of pole dancers in the arena—put on a show against an opponent of middling quality. Southpaw body shots bedeviled Magee, 34-4-1, throughout the middle rounds and dropped him three times—one knockdown was misruled a low blow—before a final sweeping uppercut to the chin left him on his hands and knees.

Bute seemed a bit troubled by Magee early on and took a few hard shots from his opponent, but he began to loosen up as the rounds went by, working behind his jab and ripping lefts from all angles. Although Magee showed pluck and landed his share of blows, he was a marked man by the time the sixth round rolled around. With Mikkel Kessler at ringside providing commentary for Showtime, Bute showed his remarkable knack for landing breathtaking body shots from portside. Kessler is going to need to make some serious adjustments if he actually faces Bute later this year.

*****

After boring the world to tears in his last start—an agonizingly dull decision over Ricardo Cordoba in November—Guillermo Rigondeaux, now 8-0, found the perfect opponent to play Shazam against. A wallflower in the ring no longer, at least for one night, Rigondeaux gave poor Willie Casey the kind of rough treatment the Westies used to give to their enemies over on 10th and 11th Avenues.

Casey, who falls to 11-1, did not belong in the ring with Rigondeaux and suffered for the temerity of all involved in making this mismatch on his behalf. Even less experienced than his record indicates—since, after all, he had three fights in one night as part of the Prizefighter tournament last May—Casey was knocked down hard three times before referee Stanley Christodoulou called an end to the trampling. With only 18 bouts between the two contestants entering the ring, some sort of bizarre record must have been set in this UNESCO title fight. Rigondeaux, who made amends for his last performance, now looks to return from the netherworld of internet webcasts.

*****

Demetrius Hopkins does not care if he loses and Brad Solomon does not care how he wins. Naturally, these two welterwhats went 12 drag-ass rounds on ESPN2, with Solomon the winner on points. It remains to be seen why Kery Davis has yet to pluck Solomon from the ether of mediocrity and throw him into an HBO windup. After all, Solomon deserves it as much as Adrien Broner does.

*****

It has been reported that the main event on Solo Boxeo—Luis Ramos Jr. scoring a majority decision over Jose Hernandez–was actually good. If so, then it marks a rare occasion indeed for boxing on Telefutura, where good fights are as scarce as sightings of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

*****

Raging James Kirkland beat up another effigy, Jhon Berrio, on the Solo Boxeo undercard. Berrio is now 4-9 in his last 13 bouts. Kirkland, 27-0, will be worth getting excited about again when this Massacre Tour is over and he actually fights an opponent of note.

*****

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*****

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Tags: Brad Solomon Brian Magee Demetrius Hopkins Epix Guillermo Rigondeaux JAMES KIRKLAND Lennox Lewis Lucian Bute Odlanier Solis Vitali Klitschko Willie Casey

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