It was officially announced today that former three-time WBA middleweight champion Felix Sturm and IBF no. 1 ranked contender Sam Soliman will face each other in an IBF World Title Eliminator on February 2, 2013 at the ISS Dome in Dusseldorf, Germany. The bout will determine the next challenger of the Daniel Geale vs. Anthony Mundine II winner on January 30.
Quotes from the first Press Conference:
Felix Sturm, Three-Time Middleweight Champion: “Sam Soliman is a strong opponent, there is a reason why is the IBF no. 1 contender. My fight against Daniel Geale is in the past. Naturally, we want the rematch since this would be one of the biggest fights at 160.
But right now, I’m completely focused on Sam. I want to prove something to the world and make the next step to my fourth world title. Nothing will go wrong this time. Even a close win wouldn’t be satisfying for me.”
Fritz Sdunek, Trainer Felix Sturm: “I will be with Felix for the complete camp this time. We had some scheduling problems before the Geale but because Vitali Klitschko fought the week after, but now, he is my only focus. Sam Soliman is a strong, a difficult opponent, who builds enormous pressure. Nevertheless, I’m convinced that Felix will beat him on February 2nd.
Sam Soliman and his team joined the presser via Skype:
Sam Soliman, IBF No. 1 160 lbs Contender: “I’ve been to Germany a couple times and I liked it over there, so it’s great to be back one more time. I’m happy to fight an accomplished and strong boxer like Felix Sturm. He is one of the best in the world but make no mistake, I won’t let him stop me on my way to becoming world champion.”
David Hedgecock, Trainer Sam Soliman: “This fight is an opportunity to get a shot at Daniel Geale, who has been avoiding us for quite some time. With a win, he can’t run away anymore. We have to beat Felix Sturm and I’m confident we will do so.”