Don King Productions Jan. 17th Card Odlanier Solis, Ray Austin, Ricardo Mayorga Training Notes
By Brad Marchetti (Dec 4, 2010) Doghouse Boxing
Don King Productions will be back in the forefront in Miami, Florida Dec. 17th from the American Airlines Arena with two title fights featuring rising stars. The main event will pit Heavyweight Olympic gold medalist Odlanier Solis, 16-0, 12 KO’s, against top-10 contender Ray Austin, 28-4-4, 18 KO’s, in a 12-round W.B.C title eliminator.

The co-main event will showcase undefeated I.B.F light-heavyweight champ Tavoris Cloud against top-30 contender Fulgencio Zuniga, 24-4-1, 21 KO’s. Also on the undercard is former world champ Ricardo Mayorga, 28-7-1, 22 KO’s, against
journeyman Michael Walker, 19-5-2, 12 KO’s in a 10-round bout. In another W.B.C elimination bout Italian heavyweight prospect Mike Marrone, 19-1, 14 KO’s, will face New York stylist Darrel Madison, 15-1, 4 KO’s. I had a chance to take some training notes on Solis, Austin and Mayorga at their media workouts from the new 5th St. Gym in Miami on Tuesday.

Odlanier Solis: Solis showed up in a limo (hungry prospect?) with his high-profile promoter Ahmet Oner from ARENA BOX. Solis has an excellent Cuban trainer in Pedro Luis Rodriguez who also trained W.B.C light-heavyweight champ Jean Pascal simultaneously for this 35 min. session. Rodriguez did coordination drills in the ring with a small handball as Solis and Pascal took turns hitting the pads. Solis’s handspeed on the punch-mitts was a touch faster than the explosive Pascal which was very impressive. Solis looked heavy in a track suit on (maybe 265 Lbs.??) but his promoter Oner said that he is simply a beach ball of muscle. A couple of my buddies however from a local gym in Miami told me the 6’1” Solis looked about 300 Lbs. a few weeks ago. Solis used angles and uppercuts extremely well on the inside hitting the mitts and ripped sizzling combos. Pascal told me in his opinion that Solis’s boxing intelligence is off the charts.

Ray Austin: Austin looked relaxed and spry shadowboxing in the ring with respected trainer Stacy McKinley. I jawed with Austin how an American needs to win the heavyweight title. Austin appeared confident and spoke of good sparring sessions for this fight with savvy vet Sherman Williams. Austin’s trainer McKinley said he trained Solis for a week or so for a fight and has a good beat on Solis’s weaknesses. Austin said, “This is not the amateur’s where you pitty pat punch.” The 6’6” Austin has faced all top flight competition and appears hungry. McKinley expects Austin to weight 240 Lbs. for this bout. As Austin left the gym on foot I told him it should be him the limo and he said that even if he had the cash he wouldn’t be in a limo.

Ricardo Mayorga: Mayorga clowned with us as he shadowboxed in the ring and did an unusual drill of dodging a towel from his little known trainer. Mayorga appeared ordinary and disinterested in his brief 20 minute session. On the heavybag Mayorga looked slow and stood in one place but did throw some decent combos. The power was there but not like one would expect from such a feared KO artist but he did barely warm up. Mayorga was setting up almost all his combos on the bag for his left hook to the body. I asked Mayorga if he knew anything about his opponent and not surprisingly he knew nothing. I asked him why he was still fighting and if the devastating KO to Shane Mosley was in his head at all. He shook off the Mosley bout and said that he is fighting for his family. Mayorga kept his shirt on and looked puffy to me. I also asked if he felt he had the same power at middleweight that he had at welterweight and he said he had more juice at welter. With weight training Mayorga said he has gotten bigger but honestly doesn’t have the same pop at middleweight. I asked Mayorga for a cigarette knowing he was a fan of the Marlboro and he rifled through his gym bag but was unable to find a cancer stick. On a random note, who wouldn’t be interested in a take no steps backward war at 154 Lbs. between Mayorga and Antonio Margarito?

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