COMMENTARY | The punch was solid, but hardly devastating. It was the kind of shot that gets a fighter's attention, but wouldn't really put out the lights. On this occasion, though, it was a kill shot and, perhaps, a career-ender.
Last Saturday in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, a counter left hook from Edgar Sosa sent Ulises Solis to the canvas in the second round. Solis, a two-time junior flyweight champion with a 10-2-2 record in world title fights, wouldn't be able to beat the count. In thirteen years as a pro, Solis had only been stopped one other time and that was late in a thrilling battle against hard-hitting Brian Viloria on a muggy evening in Quezon City, The Philippines.
Solis' reputation as a durable, solid-chinned battler had been well-established prior to entering the ring for a shot at Sosa's WBC silver flyweight title. Because he had already beaten his scrappy fellow Mexican on two previous occasions, Solis was favored to do so again. But Solis, by his own account, was damaged goods, allegedly damaged in a street attack by Mexican media darling and "good boy," Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.
Back in October of 2011, Solis claims to have been attacked by Alvarez outside of a training facility in Guadalajara over a dispute involving Alvarez's girlfriend at the time. According to the 5' 3" Solis, the much bigger WBC junior middleweight champ blindsided him with a left-right combination to his jaw that knocked him to the ground. The combination would allegedly be followed by another left-right while Solis was already down.
For the record, Alvarez denies throwing the punches and has made statements indicating that it was actually his brother who got into the physical altercation with Solis.
Whatever the case, Solis was left with a shattered jaw, broken in two places, a chipped tooth, and lingering injuries that had many questioning whether he'd ever fight again.
After fifteen months recuperating from surgery to repair the damage, Solis would return to the ring against journeyman Jesus Iribe before waiting another four months to fight Sosa.
"This fight proved that I'm not ready to fight yet," Solis told Yahoo Deportes and the assembled Mexican media. "But I did it because I don't have anyone to take care of me. I have a family to support. I have a wife, kids. I'm not right. I still have consequences from an eye injury. I see double. That punch that he gave me wasn't a knockout punch, I've received harder punches that didn't do anything to me...My chin is still not recovered from that cowardly attack from Canelo [Alvarez]."
While the 31-year-old Solis may have seen his last professional fight, he's still intent on pursuing one last battle outside the ring. He wants to bring Canelo Alvarez to justice for the 2011 attack.
But Solis is finding the slow-moving, muddled world of the Mexican legal system to be tougher than any foe he has dealt with in the past. To complicate matters even more is the fact that Alvarez is a national hero and, in his home state of Jalisco, a revered icon with plenty of connections and lots of political pull.
In the nearly eighteen months since the alleged altercation, Solis has yet to get his day in court and, really, has yet to even get a clear answer as to what's happening. Now, the last resort for the former world champ is to take his case to the media and hope that someone, somewhere takes up his cause.
"I just want to say to Mexico and to everyone reading this that, in Jalisco, with the government of Emilio González Márquez [now former governor of the state of Jalisco], there is no justice," Solis said.
"How can they find him guilty if El Canelo was the ambassador of the Pan American Games (in Guadalajara, 2011)? How can they put him in jail? How can a government of Emilio González Márquez dirty its hands by having a Pan American ambassador in jail? How? It's impossible."
Despite a March 1 change of governor and ruling state party in Jalisco, Solis will still have a tough time getting any real sort of satisfaction concerning this case. Alvarez is a bright star in Mexico and quickly growing too bright to let fall.
Whether innocent, guilty, or somewhere in between, El Canelo will get every benefit of every doubt in his home state. Solis, on the other hand, will just have to pick up the pieces of a shattered career and find a way to get by.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.
Sources: Yahoo! Deportes, El Diario