By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
Fightnews talks to Sam Soliman’s manager Dave Stanley, who says the February 1 Sturm vs. Soliman fight is a fascinating matchup and that Sam was given an offer he couldn’t refuse to fight Sturm. Stanley also says he has a high opinion of Anthony Mundine, but picks Daniel Geale to stop him on January 30.
Fightnews: Under your management Sam Soliman has registered three of his best ever wins which are Eromosele Albert, Garth Wood and Giovanni Lorenzo. Is Sam ready to beat Felix Sturm on February 1 in Duselldorf, Germany?
Stanley: I took over as Sam’s manager after his last fight at super middleweight against Anthony Mundine. We came to an agreement he should be boxing at middleweight, which is his natural weight and since then has recorded seven wins with no losses. He has shown to me he is at the same level as Felix Sturm. This fight is a fascinating matchup.
Fightnews: Soliman is currently the mandatory contender to IBF middleweight champion Daniel Geale. Why have you taken such a dangerous fight as Felix Sturm in Germany? Were you made an offer you could not refuse?
Stanley: There are two aspects to it It is partly that the offer is very good. The first offer they gave was refused. When you have boxers the age of Soliman and the age of Sturm, ring rust is a very important factor. Sam has just come off a impressive win over Lorenzo and he wanted to stay ring fit. His eye is on the winner of Mundine and Geale. He did not want to go without a fight from the August 2012 to May 2013. The other thing about Sam Soliman and his trainer Dave Hedgecock, they are “Old School.” They will fight anyone – anytime. When you have that, and a very grown up and realistic offer out of Germany – it was hard to walk away.
Fightnews: You have agreed with the promoter to use neutral officials on the Soliman vs. Sturm fight. Is that correct?
Stanley: I think it is a misnomer that it is all about certain countries that give bad decisions. In my opinion, it is about sanctioning bodies. There are good sanctioning bodies and not so good sanctioning bodies. The IBF has been very loyal to Sam Soliman and he has been very loyal to the IBF. We are very pleased to have the respected Lindsey Tucker supervising the fight. We have confidence in the IBF. The officials that have been selected for the fight have outstanding reputations.
Fightnews: Daniel Geale will defend the IBF title against Anthony Mundine on January 30. Who wins this fight? Who do you prefer to fight?
Stanley: That is a good question I think Daniel Geale wins the fight and wins comprehensively. I have a lot of respect for Anthony Mundine. That is the way I see it. If it was me – I would prefer Sam to fight Mundine again – this time at middleweight which is Sam’s correct weight. But my pick is Daniel Geale and it will be a short night on January 30
Fightnews: Is the Daniel Geale vs. Sam Soliman a big fight? Will it translate into big dollars in Australia?
Stanley: Let’s take the first part of the question – is it a big fight – yes, it is a huge fight. Daniel Geale has created history for what he has done in Germany defeating Sylvester and Sturm. How he got the decisions, how they went in with a strategy and Geale executed that strategy perfectly. For the true boxing aficionados – the Geale vs. Soliman will be a very interesting fight which in my opinion could be Fight of the Year.”