By Adrian Warren
Sam Soliman and his management team will lobby the IBF to ensure his controversial points loss to Dominic Wade doesn't do terminal damage to the Victorian veteran's boxing career.
Former IBF middleweight world champion Soliman suffered a 10-round split decision loss to the unbeaten American professional in Shelton, Washington, on Saturday Australian time.
Fight statistics showed Soliman landed 24 more punches than Wade, who at 25, was 16 years younger than the Australian.
Soliman's cause wasn't helped by a contentious knockdown ruling by veteran referee Jack Reiss in the fourth round.
Some observers felt the Australian's journey to the canvas was caused more by a push than a punch.
"I was pushed over," said Soliman, who felt he had won the bout.
Without the knockdown, Soliman would have earned at least a draw as one of the judges awarded the fight to the American by one point while another gave the Australian the bout by three points.
The Soliman camp was not happy with the performance of the third judge who scored a five-point margin in Wade's favour.
Soliman went into the fight, his first, since losing the title last October, ranked fifth by the IBF.
Wade was rated 12th by the WBA and 14th by the WBC, but wasn't ranked by the IBF, the only major organisation in which Soliman has a top 10 position at present.
The loss to a fellow contender would normally result in a fighter dropping down or even out the rankings, but the bout in Shelton was actually above the middleweight limit and theoretically shouldn't adversely affect the Australian's ranking, though that remains to be seen.
The Soliman camp is likely to be in contact with the IBF to lobby for him so he doesn't suffer unduly as a result of the disputed decision.
"We want to make sure that we protect Sam's position," Soliman's manager David Stanley told AAP.
Despite the deflating loss, Soliman remained optimistic after another busy performance which proved Father Time has yet to catch him up and retirement isn't likely to be an option for the incredibly fit veteran.
His spirits were also lifted by the reaction of the crowd, many of whom cheered for him during the fight and then booed the decision.