Sam “King” Soliman (43-11, 18KOs) once again proved that age is no barrier as the 40 year old Australian blasted in form countryman, Les Sherrington (33-7 19KOs) inside 9 dominating rounds last Wednesday night at the Melbourne Pavilion in Melbourne, Australia.
Many predicted the fight to be a closer affair that what it turned out to be. Both fighters came into this bout on winning streaks of 6 and 11 respectively, Soliman’s last loss being in 2008 against Anthony Mundine. Sam was also coming off an impressive unanimous points victory in February over now IBF middleweight champion, Felix Sturm in Germany.
The fight started like most do, each man feeling there way around the other, trying to establish a safe distance in which to engage and to land. Soliman in his signature style, bobbed and weaved and landed early with straight shots and rips to the body.
Sherrington, a noted puncher, appeared to be a little perplexed by the awkward style of the man standing in front of him, and as a result appeared hesitant to let his hands go in fear of not knowing what was coming straight back at him next. Soliman landed at will and seemingly appeared to be walking through his naturally bigger opponent by having his way with him on the inside.
This appeared to be the trend for much of the fight as Sherrington hit the canvas in Round 8 and again in Round 9 after a series of blows sent the normally durable Sherrington down. Sherrington appeared hurt before he was knocked down and as he jumped up to just beat the count, trainer Brendon Smith had seen enough and quite wisely threw in the towel to protect the brave but outclassed Sherrington.
Being interviewed after the fight, the very popular and well respected Soliman made his intentions, and his feelings for that matter, clear.
“I want to let Felix Sturm know that he has tried to take me politically and failed and tried to take me in the ring and failed and now I'm coming after him,"
"Now I'm going to smash him, I want to put a hole in him”
“But why should I go there when I beat him up there, he should come down and try to do the same back to me here," he said.
"True fighters do that but paper champions don't.
"He'll always be remembered as that until he steps up."
The classy Sherrington also gave Soliman his praises.
"I was beaten by a way better fighter, I tried but I had no answer"
"He's No 1 in the world and showed that" said Sherrington.
Again, Sam Soliman is the No.1 contender for the IBF world middleweight title. He has had this spot for the past 2 years. I ask the fans this……… How long has a No.1 contender or challenger to any world title had to wait 2 years just to get a shot at that governing body’s world championship belt? I can’t name many, if any at all.
I spoke on the phone to 4 time world champion Aussie, Danny “The Green Machine” Green after the fight and what he had to say in his support to his fellow Australian was outstanding.
“Nobody deserves a world title fight more than Sammy. He’s an absolute machine, I don’t know many that work harder than he does. He is well liked, and a truly great ambassador of the sport”
All readers get behind this man to ensure he finally gets what is rightfully his, a chance at taking the IBF world middleweight championship from Felix Sturm.