DUESSELDORF, Germany -- Sam Soliman defeated former WBA champion Felix Sturm by unanimous decision in their IBF middleweight title elimination fight on Friday night.
Soliman was knocked down in the second round, but got up and improved as the bout went on.
The judges awarded it 116-111, 114-113, 114-113 to the 39-year-old Australian, who will next fight compatriot Daniel Geale for the IBF title.
There was a moment of confusion as Michael Buffer announced the judges had awarded it to Sturm, only to correct himself while the German and the crowd were celebrating.
Soliman improved to 42-11 with 17 KOs, while Sturm dropped to 37-4-2 (16 KOs) on the day after his 34th birthday.
It was the German's second consecutive defeat after losing his WBA title to Geale in September.