Former middleweight champion Felix Sturm has passed on the opportunity of an IBF middleweight eliminator. The sanctioning body offered the German a fight for a shot at world champion Sam Soliman.
"We ordered an eliminator between Sturm and Curtis Stevens," IBF Championships Chairman Lindsey Tucker said to the German magazine SPORT BILD PLUS. "But Sturm informed us that he would not take the fight. He is injured.“
Sturm’s manager Roland Bebak confirms: "Felix has an arm injury and we originally planned surgery. He has bone chips in the joint. After his holiday we will decide if he has the surgery.“
The IBF is currently looking for fighters to enter the eliminator.
"It is a final eliminator," Tucker said. "The winner will be the mandatory for the champion." England’s Martin Murray and the Canadian David Lemieux also passed on the eliminator. "Currently we are talking with Stevens and Hassan N’Dam about the fight“, Tucker said.
Sturm plans to get back into the ring later this year.
"We think he will return around the end of November," Bebak said. "He only wants to fight twice per year from now on.“
Sturm lost his world title to Soliman on May 31 in Krefeld, German on an unanimous decision.