Photos: Team Sturm
Former 3-Time Middleweight Champion Felix Sturm and current IBF No. 1 contender Sam Soliman came face-to-face for the first time at today’s final press conference at the InterContinental Hotel in Dusseldorf, Germany. The pair will collide on Friday at the ISS Dome in Dusseldorf in an IBF World Middleweight Title Eliminator, with the winner to get a crack at the Daniel Geale vs. Anthony Mundine II victor (scheduled for Wednesday in Australia). Both fighter’s appeared calm, relaxed and smiled a lot. Felix Sturm: “I’m excited about Friday. It’s great to be in Dusseldorf and I am in great shape. I had an excellent camp. Some of my sparring partners were able to clone his fighting style and I’m really prepared to fight a guy as unorthodox as Sam. The fight against him will still be very difficult but I’ll prevent him from getting into his rhythm. I need to dictate the pace and the distance and I’m sure I’ll do just that. Sam is a great challenge and I haven’t looked past him. I’m completely focused on him. I want to become champion again and I’ll make the first step towards that goal on Friday night. The fans are in for a real treat.”
His trainer, Fritz Sdunek, added: “I was with Felix for the whole camp and he is in tip-top shape. He will have an answer to everything Sam Soliman will bring on Friday. This won’t be an easy fight, but Felix, I’m sure, will win this convincingly.”
Australian Sam Soliman, obviously, had a different opinion on the outcome: “I’m happy to be in Germany. This is a tremendous fight. I know I’m going to have lots of fun in the ring; boxing is fun for me. We had a great camp and I won’t let him get into the way of my goal – to become middleweight champion of the world.”
In the co-feature of “Hard Way Back: Sturm vs. Soliman” former female world champion Susi Kentikian will collide with Anastasia Toktaulova. The “Killer Queen” was in great spirits today: “It’s great to be back in Dusseldorf, despite the disappointment last December. I was looking forward to a rematch with Carina Moreno, but she injured herself and now I’m up against Anstasia Toktaulova. I beat her before in 2008 and I know she’ll want to get revenge. But she won’t get it. I’m ready for Friday.”
The last remaining tickets for the event can be bought at www.eventim.de or by calling +49-1805-570070.