Undefeated yet unrecognized by many, Jether Oliva (17-0-1, 11 KOs) will have the opportunity to carve his name to Filipino fight fans’ consciousness as he will try to battle it out with a very solid Ulises Solis (33-2-3, 21 KOs) for the latter’s IBF light flyweight crown on August 27th, 2011 at Solis’ hometown in Guadalajara, Mexico. Oliva is also the reigning WBO Oriental minimumweight champion.
Ken Smith, Oliva’s manager, told this writer via electronic correspondence, that his ward already received his visa yesterday and will fly out to Mexico together with his team this Sunday, August 21st. Smith told this writer that Oliva is giddied about the opportunity.
“Jether has worked his entire life for this moment. He has dreamed about this day for years,” Smith said.
But fulfilling the dream can be a difficult mission for the Filipino. Oliva’s first world title shot also happens to be the Filipino pug’s first fight overseas. Oliva, who has only faced a foreign opponent once (a debuting Thai named Paithong Muangsima) in his 18-fight boxing career, is suddenly thrown into the ring against a top class opposition. Smith assured this writer that Oliva will bring it all out, despite the disparity in experience and perhaps in skills.
“I am certain of one thing. He will give everything he has to beat Solis.”
Solis, whose last loss was via a 11th-round knockout to Brian Viloria more than two years ago, has been in the ring with elite fighters. Solis owns victories over former world champions Rodel “Mandaue Kid” Mayol and Luis Alberto Lazarte. It is an understatement to say that the Mexican has an impressive resume.
Smith acknowledges this fact.
“Ulises Solis is a great world champion. 12 title fights and won 10 times.
“Should Jether win this fight and become a world champion, this will really boost him up. Jether becoming a world champion against a great world champion.”
Smith said they have devised a two-phase gameplan that will help Oliva beat Solis, should he stick to it.
“Jether needs to start fast and control the fight with his left jab, followed with hard rights. If he can hurt Solis like (Rodel) Mayol did, then he should go in for the kill, not let up and finish him.
“Should Solis be able to recover and not fall, Jether will shift gears and work some counters using combinations. Four to five punches at a time to keep the champion off balance.
“Jether is an awkward fighter and I believe he can create problems for Solis.”
When asked for a prediction, Smith simply said that it can go one of two ways – either Oliva wins or loses. For someone who Smith describes as humble and deeply religious, Oliva’s manager hopes for the former.
Smith believes Oliva has the tools to create a monumental upset and elevate himself in the Philippine boxing scene. Should a win happens, then Philippines will have another active boxing world champion in its ranks.
And Oliva making a big splash for himself.
Photo credits: Asian Correspondent