Mundine vs. Soliman II Preview

05.03.07 - By Gavin Stone: Anthony Mundine will take on arch-rival Sam Soliman tomorrow night at the Sydney Entertainment Centre for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) super middleweight title. Mundine and Soliman have traded verbal jibes since the fight was announced in late 2006 upon Denmark’s Mikkel Kessler dropping of the WBA world title. The Australian rivals fought out a close bout at the Wollongong Entertainment Centre in 2001 in which went Mundine’s way via a split point’s decision..

Soliman, who goes by the alias of ‘The King’, told The Australian his thoughts on Mundine, and the upcoming boxing bout which he has waited over 20 years for.

"I can't believe this guy," Soliman said yesterday.

"He's carrying on making absurd comments like he's gonna knock me out.

"He's on record as saying I haven't improved since our last outing five years ago.
"All of this excites me even more. I've won all bar one of my 21 fights since our last fight.

"Now let's look at the Black Superman's current form. In your last 10 fights, you've been beaten in your own back yard on your own promotion twice.

"How does this qualify you to claim your name belongs with the ilk of Sir Donald Bradman? You have a history of being disrespectful, and I am glad you are of the opinion I haven't improved since our last outing.

"Any wonder you're talking politics, rugby league and singing rap songs because you know your boxing career will be in tatters come Wednesday night. I'll let my fists do the talking and deliver what Australians want by knocking you off your pedestal."

Soliman has been involved in both boxing and kickboxing for over 20 years, and consequently brings a wealth of experience to the ring with a total of 171 fights both professional and amateur. In 2005 he fought the universally recognised number two pound for pound fighter in the world Roland ‘Winky’ Wright, losing by decision.

Soliman’s style consist of a large volume of punches thrown from many different angles, a method which led Mundine to suggest ‘The King’ fights like an orangutan. Mundine has also labelled Soliman as a prostitute, stemming from Soliman’s reputation of sparring previous Mundine opponents.

Mundine said he is looking forward to the bout, a fight in which victory will make ‘The Man’ a two-time world champion.

"It's probably the biggest fight of my career” Mundine said.

"This is the fight that can really determine my future. I never think about losing.
"But I know if I win this fight, it can open doors internationally, as far as fighting the best in the world.''

If Mundine is succesful against Soliman he will begin eyeing off potential targets such as WBC champion Mikkel Kessler, WBO champion Joe Calzaghe and middleweight kings in Jermaine Taylor and Wright.

"Soliman is the guy who's in my way, so Soliman is the man that's got to pay,'' Mundine said.

"I'm very confident I will get the victory I want and that'll send a big statement around the world.''

Mundine, 31, says his transformation from rugby league player to boxer is now complete, and his improvement since his first fight with Soliman six years ago will show on Wednesday night.

"I'm a totally different fighter since then'' Mundine said.

"I've grown as a man and developed mentally as a boxer. It took me to beat Danny Green to get the respect I deserved.

"He didn't belong in the ring with me and now Soliman has no reason to be confident of beating me.
"He had almost 13 years of experience on me when we last met and he still couldn't beat me.''

Mundine’s cornerman George Reno is confident that his charge will not only defeat but stop Soliman in the mutch aniticipated bout.

"I think this will be the best performance of Choc's career, and I'm tipping that Sam will lose inside the distance for the first time," Reno said.

"Sam is going to be a very awkward opponent, no doubt.

"He and his team have made much of the fact that Sam and Choc fought a close fight five years ago, but Choc has improved much more than Sam in the years since."

Reno has trained both Kevin and Glen Kelly in defeats over Soliman.

"The secret to beating Sam is to keep the fight low," Reno said.

"Body rips and uppercuts.

"He's hard to hit to the head because of his movement, but the body doesn't move like the head and you can catch him lunging in all the time.

"Choc has scored most of his wins by knockout and nine of them were one-punch knockouts. He's also physically a much bigger man than Sam."

The bout is officially sanctioned as a world title fight by the WBA, and will be officiated by South African referee Stanley Christodoulou and judges Pinit Prayadsab from Thailand, Silvestre Abainza from the Philippines and the highly respected Derek Milham from Australia.

The card will also feature notible names in Shane Cameron, Bob Mirovic, Soloman Haumono, John Hopoate, Les Mason (brother of Willie Mason) and Wayne Parker Jr. from Queensland.

Main Event Australia will be broadcasting the promotion from 7pm AEST.

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Article posted on 05.03.2007

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