By Adrian Warren
Sam Soliman is prepared to retire if he beats Felix Sturm in Germany this weekend and doesn't get the next crack at fellow Australian Daniel Geale's IBF middleweight boxing title.
Soliman, the No.1 contender for Geale's title, tackles No.3 rated Sturm in Dusseldorf on Friday (Saturday morning AEDT).
Having won a title eliminator in his last bout, 39-year-old Soliman could just have waited for his mandatory crack at the winner of Wednesday's bout between Geale and Anthony Mundine without taking a potentially risky contest against 34-year-old former world champion Sturm.
Geale's promoter Gary Shaw said on Monday he would consider petitioning the IBF for his man to have a voluntary defence after fighting Mundine.
Soliman was confident the IBF would confirm the winner of his fight as their next mandatory challenger to Geale and not allow the champion to take a voluntary.
"It (Shaw's comments) doesn't bother me, it won't happen, he won't get it," Soliman said.
"If he gets a voluntary defence of the title and I dont get a shot I'd retire on the spot because I l know that the sport wouldn't do that to me."
Soliman's commitment to beating Sturm extended to not taking the opportunity to watch a live stream of the Geale-Mundine fight.
"I was doing part of my routine for the fight, it would have interrupted my routine, so I couldn't stop for it," Soliman said.
Having tipped Geale to win, Soliman said he wasn't surprised by the champion's points victory over Mundine.
Soliman (32-11, 17 KOs) spent just over a week training in London as part of his preparations for the fight.
"Most fighters will just come for the seven days prior to the fight, and not really get over the jet lag till it's too late," Soliman said.
"That's why we came into (Europe) 16 days prior to the fight to leave no stone unturned, it's really helped.
"Its the best shape I've ever been, its a stereotyped thing to say, but I am exactly that."
Sturm (37-3-2, 18 KOs) lost his WBA middleweight `super' title last September to Geale, who was subsequently stripped of it for choosing to fight Mundine rather than regular WBA champion Gennady Golovkin.
"He's a good boxer, a clever boxer, knows the ring really well and has plenty of experience, amateur and pro," Soliman said of Sturm.
"It's two thoroughbred horses going at it."