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Boxing fans might be looking toward young fighters like Deontay Wilder and Bryant Jennings to bring excitement to the U.S. heavyweight scene, but at 42, Tony Thompson remains arguably the best American big man.
Thompson has been stopped twice by Wladimir Klitschko. In a relatively competitive fight in July 2008, Thompson was knocked out in Round 11. In July 2012, Thompson was far less successful, going down by TKO in six.
Since his second loss the Klitschko, Thompson has hung on to become a dangerous gatekeeper in the division. He derailed the career of Brit Dave Price with back-to-back stoppages in May and July of last year. He gave unbeaten Kubrat Pulev a tough battle last August.
Odlanier Solis has shown potential in his professional career, but he was thrown into a World Title fight much too fast. In March 2011, he challenged Vitali Klitschko after only 17 professional fights, losing by demoralizing Round 1 KO.
Solis' best wins have come against opponents like Monte Barrett and Leif Larson. But in a post-Klitschko heavyweight scene, there may be room for him, especially if he can get by Thompson.