For the better part of a decade, Ulises
Solis, 34-2-3 (21), has been a lynch pin of the light flyweight division, twice
holding the IBF 108-pound crown. He first won it back in early 2006 against
Will Grigsby at Madison Square Garden in New York and went on to make eight
successful defences, beating the likes of Eric Ortiz (TKO 9), Jose Antonio
Aguirre (TKO 9) and Rodel Mayol (TKO8) before being surprisingly unseated by a
rejuvenated Brian Viloria in the spring of 2009. Not perturbed, the native of
Guadalajara, Mexico knew he had another title run in him; though it took two
years, he finally regained his championship. However, the 30-year-old had to
endure two taxing trips to Argentina to achieve this, first drawing with Luis
Lazarte (a fight many believed he won) before returning to beat Lazarte via split
decision (again a fight many believed he won comfortably). Winning a title on
the road is not an easy feat and it looked like “Archie” would settle into
another long title reign only to be involved in an altercation reportedly with
Saul Alvarez last October that left him with a broken jaw. That’s one fight
that won’t be settled inside the ring; instead it’s now in the hands of the
lawyers. Thankfully, Solis is now fully healed and ready for action
and though a 23 June fight was aborted, a return is imminent.
Anson Wainwright - You return to action on 23 June in
Hermosillo, Mexico. Who will you be facing and what are your thoughts on this
Ulises Solis - Don’t know nothing about my next opponent;
I thing that this is a second chance that boxing and life gave me. I been
through a lot personally and professionally.
AW - You’ve been out of action since last
August because of an incident involving Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Can you tell us
about what happened? Your jaw was broken in the incident. How has that healed
up? Did you get any other injuries?
US - That was a total cowardly act from Alvarez just after I
ended my morning running. He alleges something regarding his ex-girlfriend- which
is the mother of his daughter- a person that I not even know. That’s
why he attacks me.
AW - You first won the IBF crown in 2006,
defending it eight times before losing it to Brian Viloria in the Philippines.
Could you tell us about your first reign as champion and what happened when you
US - That was a reign full of good things. Everybody
must know that in those times, I fought with the best opponents but many
people do not recognize that and, well, in Viloria’s fight, we made some mistakes.
We flew to the Philippines just four days before the fight. That’s little
time to get to another country because it's 13 hours difference from Mexico’s,
so I did not sleep well and I did not eat well also. I just wasn’t at 100%.
AW - You regained the title two years after
losing it to Viloria when you beat Luis Lazarte in the rematch, having drawn
with him the first time. Could you tell us what your experience was like fighting
Lazarte? Of course since then, Johnriel Casimero has fought him and was
involved in a riot.
US - It was something similar because we were about
to get hit by the Argentinean fans, who everyone can see don’t accept
a loss in their own country. The first time we’ve been there, they denied us
meals; we had to pay for our own meals. They also put our team in a very uncomfortable
hotel. The Lazarte fight was tough; our styles can’t match at all. You
know, Lazarte’s style is difficult, not technical, and we drew but the
referee didn't help. [Lazarte] never stopped to fight and defend his
title like a real boxer.
AW - Casimero is now the IBF interim
champion and he told us, “I am ready for him anytime. I saw his fight with
Lazarte twice and there is no doubt that I will beat him.” What is your
US - I'm really glad about it; I like to know that
they’re confident in beating me. That motivates me to improve better things, to
work harder because I’m pretty much quiet out of the ring but not up [in the
ring]. I can’t wait for that fight. I want to show that “Archie” Solis is
the best junior flyweight in the world.
AW - Could you tell us about your team?
US – Well, I really don’t have a trainer. I train
myself at the gym; I have people to help me out. I learned so much from my
mentor, Jesus Cholain Rivero, who I want to salute. He's in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico.
For the physical part, I have Raul Robles, from Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico.
I think I will be great physical and technical condition.
AW – Also, where do you regularly train? What
other boxers train there? What is a typical day’s training for you?
US - At my gym, “Aurelio Solis,” we just
opened recently, we’re just receiving kids and making amateur boxers. My
routine at the moment, it’s just basic, running, bags, ropes, etc.
AW - What are your thoughts on the light
flyweight division? What about the other champions, the WBC’s Kompayak
Porpramook, the WBA’s Roman Gonzalez and the WBO’s Donnie Nietes?
US - The division
is good and I think that I’m at the level of any of those [champions]. The bad
thing is that this division isn’t well paid. I think that we bring great fights
even over some of the other weight divisions.
AW - You were born, raised and still live in Guadalajara.
Could you tell us about your younger days growing up there? Were things tough
like they are for many Mexican families? Would you mind sharing how things were
for you and your family?
US - I was
born in a humble neighborhood; it's called Talpita Barrio Bravo. There were
seven men and four women [in our family]; we had to start working at
a young age.
AW - Your brother, Jorge, is also a
professional boxer. Could you tell us about the relationship you guys share?
How’s he doing after losing to Yuriorkis Gamboa and Takashi Uchiyama last year?
US - My
brother and I did not train in the same gym; he decided to part ways. The thing
started when I lost the title in Philippines; after that, I wasn’t earning the
same purses, then he got his title shot and automatically put me aside. The
money changed him out; he turned greedy. Also, he never paid me for my services
to help him out. When I was champ, he always was paid as trainer but not me [when
I helped him].
AW - What
goals do you still have in boxing? Move up to flyweight, unify? And
do you have a message for the boxing world ahead of your return?