By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
Photo: Werner Kalin
IBF #1 Sam “King” Soliman will clash with former WBA middleweight champion Felix Sturm in Germany on February 1st with the winner meeting the winner of the January 30th Daniel Geale vs Anthony Mundine IBF championship bout in May. Soliman talks to Fightnews and explains why he is confident of defeating Sturm and that Geale will defeat Mundine.
Fightnews: When did you start training for your February 1st bout with Felix Sturm in Germany?
Soliman: I started training four weeks ago for the Sturm fight and have had excellent sparring with several boxers in Melbourne who are similar in size and style to Felix Sturm.
Fightnews: When do you depart Australia for Germany and where will you train?
Soliman: I’ll depart Melbourne on January 15th and will train in London. I’ll complete my sparring and training there on January 24 before leaving for Germany on January 25.
Fightnews: Do you see anything in Sturm’s style that you can capitalise on and do you think your high work rate and unorthodox style will give the German problems?
Soliman: I’ll be in fantastic shape for this fight because Sturm does everything to perfection. His right hand over the left jab is his best punch and he also has the best jab in the middleweight division. In saying that, I have a plan to defeat Sturm on February 1st. My style and high work rate are the key to my success and I am confident that will get me the win over Sturm. I am sure he has never boxed anyone like me.
Fightnews: You have boxed several outstanding super middleweights and middleweights including Winky Wright, Anthony Mundine, Sakio Bika and Giovanni Lorenzo. Where does Sturm rate among the best you have boxed?
Soliman: Sturm is in the top three. He is in the same league as Winky Wright.
Fightnews: Daniel Geale defends the IBF middleweight title against Anthony Mundine on January 30. You have boxed Mundine three times and have sparred many rounds with Geale. Who wins this fight?
Soliman: Daniel is the superior boxer and the stronger middleweight. Mundine will be in survival mode to last the twelve rounds. I know how Geale trains and the sacrifices he makes to be the champion. He would beat Mundine six times a week and twice on Sunday.
Fightnews: You are 38 years of age but you are probably boxing at the best of your career with wins over Garth Wood who knocked Mundine out and Giovanni Lorenzo who gave Sturm problems when they boxed. What do you credit this to at your late age?
Soliman: The experience and knowledge on how to look after my body. I eat correctly – like a fighter should. You must eat at right times and what to eat and portion size. Being dedicated to training and remaining a hungry fighter has kept me performing at my best
Fightnews: You are managed by David Stanley and trained by Dave Hedgecock. How important have they been to your success?
Soliman: Both are very important to my success. I have been with my trainer Dave Hedgecock for 20 years and manager Dave Stanley for ten years. They have helped me to become rated IBF #1 middleweight contender and I am now ready for the biggest fight of my career against Sturm on February 1st