Sam Soliman shocks, dethrones Felix Sturm by unanimous decision


Veteran middleweight Sam Soliman faced IBF titleholder Felix Sturm for the second time in 15 months on Saturday, and for the second time, the Australian achieved success.

A man who celebrated his 40th birthday in November, Soliman (44-11, 18 knockouts) dominated the 35-year-old Sturm (39-4-2, 18 KOs), winning by scores of 118-110 on the cards of John Poturaj and Don Trella, and 117-111 on that of Miroslaw Brozio to earn the IBF title before Sturm's partisan fans at König Palast, Krefeld, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.

THE RING's No. 2-rated 160-pounder behind RING/WBC champion Sergio Martinez and unbeaten No. 1-rated WBA beltholder Gennady Golovkin, Sturm lost a unanimous decision to Soliman last February but the result became a no-contest after Soliman tested positive for a banned substance.

In victory, Soliman won his first-ever major title belt and has prolonged his career, doing so with his ninth consecutive victory during a run that has included five knockouts. Soliman's previous win was a ninth-round stoppage of Les Sherrington in December.