Photo by Sturm Box-Promotion
Three-Time Middleweight Champion Felix Sturm is currently preparing for his Feb. 1st IBF title eliminator against No. 1 contender Sam Soliman from Australia. The bout will headline a Sturm Box-Promotion event at the ISS Dome in Dusseldorf, Germany, which will feature Susi Kentikian and Maurice Weber among others on the undercard.
The fight will declare the official challenger for the winner of Daniel Geale’s rematch and IBF title defense against Anthony Mundine on Jan. 30th. Geale defeated Sturm by a narrow decision last September to capture Sturm’s WBA belt. He has since relinquished that title in order to face Mundine since the WBA mandated him to face WBA regular titleholder Gennady Golovkin without any further fights.
Sturm has been preparing hard for Soliman in the last couple weeks and begun sparring on Monday. “I’m already in great shape. My condition is there, the speed, the movement”, Sturm stated. “I’m now looking to get the final touch in sparring. I need to beat Soliman to reach my goal of becoming world champion again and getting a rematch with Geale. But make no mistake, I won’t overlook Sam – he is a great and dangerous fighter and the rightful No. 1 contender. But that doesn’t matter when he steps into the ring with me. I promise I will go out victorious. I want to become Germany’s first four-time champion of the world.”
The Cologne-based middleweight first busted onto the scene when he took on Hector Velazco on short notice to capture the WBO title in 2003. In his second defense, he fought the legendary “Golden Boy” Oscar de la Hoya in Las Vegas. De la Hoya got the judges decision but almost everyone at ringside, including the HBO Pay-Per-View crew, and most television viewers saw Sturm winning the fight. The loss, however, enhanced Sturm’s popularity and two years later, he captured the WBA 160 belt. After losing an upset to Javier Castillejo, he won the belt back in the rematch to become a three-time champion. Sturm made 14 successful defenses of his crown before losing it to Geale.
“I had a great career”, Sturm said. “But I’m far from finished. I have many goals left and the first is to beat Soliman in order to pave the way for another championship. I’m ready for him.”
Tickets for Sturm-Soliman: Hard Way Back on Feb. 1st at the ISS Dome Dusseldorf are available at www.eventim.de and by calling +49-1805-570070. Prices begin at 20,00 Euros. You can follow Felix Sturm on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SturmBoxing and Sturm Box-Promotion at www.twitter.com/sturm_bp.