by Mitch Cleary
Sam Soliman (41-11, 17KOs) feels he is in the best physical shape for his IBF challenger fight against Dominican Giovanni Lorenzo (31-4, 23KOs) next Friday at The Arena in Geelong.
The 38-year-old, the current WBF title-holder, has the opportunity to win through for the chance to contest the IBF-WBA world title.
Soliman, a man who has twice fought Anthony Mundine without success, has been based in Torquay.
Currently on a six-fight winning streak, Soliman said he had plenty left in his ageing body.
"If I didn't do what I did outside of boxing, in the way I live and treat my body, I would be past my best and fighting on hope and heart alone," he said.
"There's not a single fight I've ever fought where I've thought, 'I'm going to stop him early' or 'I'm going out early myself'.
"People ask, 'You're 38, how long can you go?' And I say to any sportsman, it's how you treat yourself outside of the sport is how you're going to look in the ring or on the field.
"I've had a crack at it before against Winky Wright, and I took it as a positive because my dream was to get another opportunity again. Now I've got it, whatever mistake I made with that fight won't be happening again."
Soliman said having 12 weeks of preparation was an ideal lead-up to one of his biggest fights.
"The opportunity to train, de-train, train and now I'm bringing it down again. I'm at the final stages now, I'm in the best shape I can possibly be," he said.
Lorenzo's camp has nothing but respect for the man ranked No. 2 in his IBF middleweight division.
"Sam has an aggressive style, he throws them in bunches. He throws them from all different angles and you don't know where they're coming from," trainer Richard Ryan said.
"He throws punches no one in the world has ever seen before, and that's difficult to prepare for."
Soliman was excited about getting out in front of what is expected to be a full house at The Arena. He is aiming to become the first man in the history of middleweight boxing to hold two titles.
"The fact I've been travelling all over the world and overseas in their backyards, it's nice to have one at home," he said. "The way Geelong has taken me as their son is priceless.
"No one in Australia has done it before, apart from Kostya (Tszyu), and in my weight division no one's done it. To know I'm fighting for that belt is a bit surreal."