Tight points victories catch up on Sturm as Soliman triumphs
Former WBA middleweight title holder Felix Sturm can feel hard done by tonight after the German was on the end of a contentious unanimous decision defeat, despite flooring opponent Sam Soliman early on in Dusseldorf.
The 34 year-old was in complete control through the first four rounds after dropping Soliman in the second with a sweet right hand and seemed to have the beating of the Australian until the second half of the fight.
All too often in the latter period though, Sturm left the result open to debate as Soliman kept busy and on my card took most of the middle rounds to make the fight competitive.
The close rounds, which I obviously leant towards Sturm on as I carded 116-113 for his classier work, ultimately went to former Contender star Soliman, who set up a world title shot against Daniel Geale after some confusion.
Ring announcer Michael Buffer originally announced Sturm as the winner, which would not have come with any controversy, although the man with the legendary voice was then corrected to huge boos in the German crowd.
Soliman, 39, was handed a 116-111, 114-113 (twice) victory by the judges at ringside and will now challenge Geale for the IBF belt he successfully defended against Anthony Mundine earlier this week.
For 34 year-old Sturm, it seems that tight margins in the past that allowed him to retain his world title have ultimately meant that the one-time 160lb king has to now re-think where he goes with his fading career after two straight losses.