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Boxing | International

Sturm beaten by another Aussie

Sam Soliman beat former WBA champion Felix Sturm on points in Düsseldorf on Friday night.

The Australian won their IBF middleweight title eliminator by unanimous decision – 116-111 and 114-113 on the two other cards.

Sturm, who had lost his previous fight to another Australian, Daniel Geale, knocked Soliman down with a swinging right in the second round but the Aussie got up and improved as the bout went on.

The 39-year-old Soliman will now face Geale for the IBF title.

Sturm dominated the early rounds but then found it harder to deal with Soliman's awkward, crouching style.

"I landed the clearer punches but I can't tell what's in the judges' heads," Sturm said.

"He was very hard to fight but you can't anything about it," Sturm said. "Now I'll spend some time with my family and see what happens next."

There was a moment of confusion when Michael Buffer announced the judges had awarded the fight to Sturm, but he soon corrected the mistake as the German and the crowd were celebrating.

Soliman improved his record to 42-11 with 17 knockouts. Sturm, a German of Bosnian descent, dropped to 37-4-2, with 16 knockouts, on the day after his 34th birthday.

Sturm lost his WBA title to Geale in September last year. His previous loss was in 2006 to Javier Castillejo of Spain.

Before losing to Geale, who beat Anthony Mundine earlier this week, Sturm had made 12 defences of his titles.


It was announced on Friday that Mikkel Kessler's super-middleweight rematch against Carl Froch will take place in London in May.

In 2010, Kessler beat the Briton by unanimous decision. Now they will meet at London's O2 Arena on May 25.

The 33-year-old Kessler, from Denmark, is the WBA champion and has won 46 of his 48 fights – 35 by knockout.

Froch (30-2; 22 holds the IBF belt, which he took off Lucien Bute in May 2011.


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