By Ben McKay
A world champion for the first time at 40 years of age, Sam Soliman is far from done.
Back in Australia after defeating Felix Sturm in a unanimous points decision, hugs rather than jabs were the order of the day.
"There's no better feeling than being back with a title, no better high in the world," he said.
Soliman delighted in the warm welcome from his coterie.
More than 40 local supporters made the trip to Germany for his title fight, which he won after 12 rounds 117-111, 118-110, and 118-110.
He admitted being surprised by the comprehensive nature of his win last month.
"He had no answer to the kind of punches I was throwing, which was surprising because he's had so many championship fights with that kind of pressure," he said.
But instead of basking in the success, he's hungry to keep on fighting.
Soliman gave himself a week in Germany to enjoy the experience, and no more.
He's now on a mission to unify the middleweight belts, held by Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto and Kazakh Gennady Golovkin.
Soliman's preparation has already started.
"I had so many hours on the flight, I wrote up some of the best training drills and strategies for both Golovkin and Cotto," he said.
"I studied the Cotto fight and Golovkin's fights and put strategies on paper.
"Normally I was watching my favourite flicks but now I'm straight back to work."
Golovkin's imposing 29-0 record will first be tested by Tasmanian boxer Daniel Geale in New York next month.
He said belief in his ability to take on champions into his 40s came from hard work.
"When you leave no stone unturned, you can have that sort of confidence," he said.
Soliman said with no plans to quit just yet, he would keep the underdog tag in any future bouts.
"I'll never not be an underdog. For my next fight, whether it's Cotto or Golovkin, both will be favourites," he said.
"But I naturally love fighting and I'll keep doing what I love doing.
"If I get to the point where injuries don't heal, my reflexes aren't what they used to be - maybe that love will diminish.
"But at least one slip under the radar is going to be fun."
Tags: Sam Soliman