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Beck withdraws from fight with Cuba's Solis
PRIMM, Nevada (CMC):
Unbeaten Cuban heavyweight boxer Odlanier Solis is set to make his US debut tomorrow night against the big American, Kevin Burnett, who comes in as a replacement for Jamaican, Owen Beck.
Solis was scheduled to face Beck but the former World Boxing Association (WBA) world title challenger pulled out of the fight due to medical reasons.
Beck, who lost a world title bout to Russian giant Nikolay Valuev in June 2006, has not fought since November 2007.
The 10-round contest between Solis and Hunter is being staged at Buffalo Bill's Star Arena.
With an impressive ring record of 12-0 with eight knockouts, Solis is heavily favoured to defeat the six-foot-seven-inch Burnett as he continues on the path to a world title shot.
Burnett has a ring record of 13 wins (eight knockouts) against one loss and one draw.
Since his defection from Cuba to pursue a professional career, Solis has until now boxed exclusively in Europe, primarily in Germany, and his coach Ismael Salas says he is eager to box in front of an American audience.
"Odlanier is fired up to show the US public what he is made of," Salas said.
Solis was the 2004 Olympic heavyweight champion and also boasts World Championship and Pan American Games gold in a glittering amateur career.
No. 12 in world
His exploits since turning pro in April 2007 have Solis at the number 12 world ranking with the World Boxing Council (WBC).
Solis and other Athens Olympic gold medallists, Yuriorkis Gamboa and Yan Barthelemy, who defected from Cuba with him ahead of the 2007 Pan Am Games in Brazil, are all unbeaten so far as pros.
The featherweight Gamboa, who has ascended most rapidly among the trio toward a world title, will also box on Friday night's card.
Gamboa, 12-0 with 10 knockouts, will face Roger Gonzalez and is in line to fight for the WBC interim championship against Elio Rojas.