After a promising start, negotiations for the WBC heavyweight championship between Vitali Klitschko and mandatory challenger Odlanier Solis seem to have stagnated.
"The offer we got from the Klitschko side are not what we have been expecting. In addition they don’t want to comply to any of our requests. We have made a counter offer but so far they didn’t respond to that. So I guess we’ll have to go to purse bid", says Solis’ promoter Ahmet Oner.
"The Klitschkos’ arrogance really pisses me off", added Odlanier Solis. "My promoter informed me about every step in the negotiations and it looks to me like Vitali is trying to take advantage of me. I will make him pay for that. This is not about money – it’s about respect.
"The Klitschkos seem to think that I am just another opponent like the last tomato cans they cherry-picked so Vitali could easily beat them up. But I am not only the mandatory challenger. I have been the best amateur fighter in the world and I will prove that I am the best professional fighter as well. I am not interested in a couple of extra dollars. The only thing I want is to strip the world championship belt from Vitali. Klitschko shouldn’t be afraid of losing money; he should only be afraid to lose his title."
Adds promoter Ahmet Oner: "Everybody has to understand that the Klitschkos always want to be in control. It’s hard for them to deal with mandatory challengers or other champions because they don’t want to compromise. I understand that to a certain point. What I don’t understand is that they are trying to produce their own challengers now.
"In Germany people are talking about the fight between Luan Krasniqi and Jonathon Banks as "elimination bout" to fight Wladimir Klitschko. This is ridiculous and it harms the credibility of boxing in general. Krasniqi hasn’t fought in two years and lost his last two fights and Banks is merely a mediocre cruiserweight who was lucky enough to get signed by the Klitschkos so they hyped him to a point where he can fight for a title. They are always trying to take advantage of their strong position. When it comes to the fight between Vitali and Solis they have to understand that Solis is the mandatory challenger which puts us in a strong position as well. And we don’t have to agree to all of their terms although we definitely want the fight. Anyways, we will make sure that the fight happens."
"La Sombra" also has his own thoughts about Vitali’s motives. "Maybe the Klitschkos think that they can get out of the fight by making ridiculously low offers. But I have to disappoint them. If money is a real problem I would even do the fight for no purse at all.
"Of course, only if Vitali accepts to fight for no money as well. I will not let him take advantage of me. If money is not a problem the only other explanation I can think of is that Klitschko might know that this will be his last big pay-day because I will end his career. But to be honest I don’t care about him or him motives. All I can say is that now I understand why the fight between David Haye and either Klitschko hasn’t happened so far.
"Until now I thought Haye was afraid. But if the Klitschkos are always as arrogant as they present themselves in our negotiations, I have to say that I understand Haye for not signing a contract. But sorry, Vitali, I am not David Haye. I will fight you anyways. You can run but you can’t hide. I will get my hands on you and become the first ever Cuban heavyweight champion of the world."
January 4, 2011