Lanxess-Arena, Cologne, Germany
Vitali Klitschko (42-2, 39 KO) KO 1 Odlanier Solis (17-1, 12 KO)
Odlanier Solis was doing just fine in the opening round of his first heavyweight title fight before the Cuban’s left knee locked, falling to the canvas in agony. Solis attempted to get to his feet, but his legs kept giving way, forcing the referee to stop the contest.
The crowd booed, Vitali was unhappy, and the fight was a major letdown. Solis was one of the last heavyweight hopes, and arguably still is. This was the first real test for Klitschko since his comeback, but it didn’t materialize the way it should have. Disappointment all round.
City West Hotel, Dublin, Ireland
Guillermo Rigondeaux (8-0, 6 KO) KO-1 Willie Casey (11-1, 7 KO)
In a complete mismatch, uber-prospect Rigondeaux dismantled Casey in spectacular fashion, blitzing the Irishman with body shots and quick hooks in his first defense of a minor alphabet title.
The first knockdown came from a counter shot which made Casey touch down. Clearly overwhelmed by the gap in class, it wasn’t long until Casey was down again, this time from a bullet left hand. Casey bravely fought on, but it wasn’t long until the fight was stopped.
The fight was not only a step forward for Rigondeaux career-wise, but it showed a different side to the Cuban that we weren’t used to. He didn’t sit and wait for counters, he went to Ireland to blast Casey out. It was a different approach in mentality, and it worked.