Former super middleweight title challenger Sam Soliman outpointed odds-favorite Felix Sturm with a close unanimous decision over the former three-time middleweight beltholder in Dusseldorf, Germany, on Friday.
Soliman (43-11, 17 knockouts), had to survive a second-round knockdown and rocky moments after being floored by a Sturm right hand, to outwork and outpoint the better technician by scores of 116-111, 114-113 and 114-113.
The 39-year-old Australian veteran won his eighth consecutive bout and earned a mandatory shot at fellow Aussie and IBF middleweight titleholder Daniel Geale, who recently outpointed Anthony Mundine, the last man to beat Soliman.
Sturm (37-4-2, 16 KOs) lost his second consecutive bout. The 34-year-old veteran dropped a hotly contested split decision to Geale last September.
Photo / Dennis Grombkowski-Bongarts