By Adrian Warren
Australia's former IBF middleweight boxing world champion Sam Soliman will escalate his bid for another world title by fighting formidable Frenchman Hassan N'Dam in Paris in November.
Soliman won and then lost the IBF title last year and subsequently suffered a controversial points loss to unbeaten American Dominic Wade in his most recent bout, last June.
The always well-conditioned Soliman will be 42 by the time he enters the ring at the Palais des Sports on November 21 in a fight that is an eliminator for the vacant IBF no.2 ranking.
Soliman is seventh in the latest IBF ratings, two spots below N'Dam, who was outpointed by David Lemieux for the vacant IBF title in his last fight in June.
Cameroon-born N'Dam 31 (31-2, 18 KOs) formerly held the WBO and interim WBA titles and his only other loss was to unbeaten American Peter Quillin, who took his WBO title and knocked out Australian Michael Zerafa last week in a non-title bout.
Soliman (44-13, 18 KOs) said he was confident he had the right style to beat N'Dam.
"A win will give me the right to fight for the IBF middleweight No.1 spot which grants a mandatory title shot," Soliman said.
"I'm 40-plus and my last fight has fuelled my hunger and focused me on what I need to do to become a two-time world champion.
"I need to win this fight and win it well.
"I'm two fights away from having a chance to regain the world title I lost when I badly injured my knee fighting Jermain Taylor last year."
France will be at least the eighth country outside Australia in which Soliman has fought professionally after the United States, Germany, Japan, England, Scotland , Fiji and the Netherlands.
"I've knocked up more frequent flyer points than most boxers," Soliman joked.
"I've always been prepared to travel anywhere and fight anyone and this fight has IBF sanctioning as an eliminator for the No. 2 spot.
"Fighting Hassan N'Dam on his home turf is not going to be easy. N'Dam is one tough opponent.
"He picked himself off the canvas four times before being beaten by current world champion, David Lemieux in Montreal in June.
"N'Dam and myself have a lot in common. We are both world champions, we have both lost titles, we have fought quality fighters to get where we are and we both want that world championship belt back.
"This is a career defining fight for both of us."