- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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It seems there is finally some movement in the heavyweight division as the contenders are facing each other.
Bermane Stiverne and Chris Arreola will square off in a May 10 rematch for a vacant title. Tyson Fury and Dereck Chisora are fighting a rematch on July 26, with the winner ticketed for a mandatory shot against champ Wladimir Klitschko. Czar Glazkov outpointed Tomasz Adamek in a highly entertaining fight on Saturday night. And a fight between unbeaten up-and-comers Bryant Jennings and Mike Perez is in discussions.
There is yet another heavyweight fight on the schedule, pitting two of the better big men in the division.
Former title challenger Odlanier Solis, a 2004 Olympian for Cuba who has since defected, and two-time challenger Tony Thompson of Washington, D.C., will square off Saturday in Tekirdag, Turkey -- the country where Solis' promoter, Ahmet Oner, is from. Solis turned pro in 2007 and lives in Miami.
Solis, 33, and Thompson, 42, are both aiming to put themselves back into the title picture.
Solis (20-1, 13 KOs) suffered a first-round knockout loss to then-titlist Vitali Klitschko when Solis’ knee gave out in their 2011 title fight. After multiple surgeries on his knee, Solis has won three in a row.
Thompson (38-4, 26 KOs) got mandatory title shots against Wladimir Klitschko in 2008 and 2012 and was knocked out both times. But Thompson scored two big wins last year by knocking out British hope David Price in two upsets.
Thompson lost a decision to Kubrat Pulev in his last fight in August, which was an eliminator to become Wladimir’s mandatory.
Solis and Thompson both really need to win Saturday to keep themselves on the fringes of landing a big fight.
“This is a do-or-die fight. If Solis beats Thompson, I will lead him to another world title fight. But if he loses, it might be all over,” Oner said.
Said Solis, “Tony Thompson doesn't know what's coming for him. My only goal is to become heavyweight champion of the world. And I won't let anybody stop me on my way."