Felix Sturm-Sam Soliman Agreed Upon For February 2
By Adrian Warren
Veteran boxer Sam Soliman (42-11, 17KOs) has received a lucrative but risky birthday present which could jeopardize his chances of fighting a fellow Australian for the IBF middleweight title.
The No.1 ranked IBF contender, Soliman has signed to fight former champion Felix Sturm (37-3-2, 16KOs) in Germany on February 2.
Soliman's manager David Stanley said the IBF granted champion Daniel Geale an exemption to fight Australian compatriot Anthony Mundine instead of his charge, provided the winner of that bout in Sydney on January 30 makes a mandatory defence by May 2.
Victorian Soliman could have waited for that opportunity, but that would have meant going just over eight months without a fight.
Instead he has opted to fight fourth-rated Sturm, who lost his WBA Super title to Geale in Germany in early September.
Geale was stripped of his WBA Super title for fighting Mundine instead of that organisation's standard WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.
The contract to fight Sturm came through on Soliman's 39th birthday last Tuesday.
Stanley confirmed it would be one of the most lucrative purses of Soliman's career and recognised they were risking his mandatory entitlement by fighting Sturm.
Soliman's last fight was a title eliminator points win back on August 24 against Giovanni Lorenzo, a man Sturm has also got a decision against.
"It's about the ring rust," Stanley said.
"Sam is a professional boxer as well, so it's a good fight in terms of good prizemoney for Sam.
"Sam knows what he's doing, he's putting his number one mandatory entitlement up, but obviously Sturm has got a steaming desire to get back at Geale."
Soliman is likely to head to Europe three weeks before the bout.
He may spend part of that final preparation period training in either Britain or the Netherlands before heading over to Germany.
[QUOTE=impartial;12763843]Soliman has to take this fight, Geale will keep dodging him and Mundine won't be interested in beating him a fourth time at this stage of his career. It's bad enough Mundine has to take Geales belt again just to…Comment by impartial on 12-02-2012
Soliman has to take this fight, Geale will keep dodging him and Mundine won't be interested in beating him a fourth time at this stage of his career. It's bad enough Mundine has to take Geales belt again just to…Comment by Clegg on 11-17-2012
It seemed like Geale wanted to achieve as much as possible, but I feel he may just want to earn as much money as possible.Comment by giacomino on 11-17-2012
Really surprized Soliman is giving up his title shot to go to Germany and lose a decision to Sturm. Hope he's being paid well. This sets up Geale-Sturm II in Germany in May, which is too bad because I'd rather…Comment by Jack Napier on 11-17-2012
Sturm got this woulda preferred an immediate rematch with Geale but this is a good fight for Sturm to look strong in Soliman will do his part to make it fun to watchPost a Comment - View More User Comments (8)