Sam Soliman: Heading in the 'Wright' Direction

06.12.05 - By Eddy Manning: It may suprise some people, but this weekend Winky Wright IS schedualed in a bout on American television and yes, this is the same Winky Wright that sent Felix Trinidad into retirement in one this years most anticipated mega fights. Ok, so all fight fans do know that Wright is going to be in action on Saturday night but in stark comparison to the hype and media coverage surrounding Wrights bout with Trinidad most people have never even heard of an experienced Australian Middleweight by the name of Sam Soliman, let alone seen him fight.

Sam Soliman has been fighting under the radar for the best part of his 38 fight career, even in his hometown of Australia Soliman has been an unknown name outside boxing circles, inside them he has been somewhat of an unappreciated and it would seem underrated fighter. Solimans record of 31-7 is enough reason for most to lose interest in him without a second thought, but Soliman is riding a 19 fight win streak including a recent one sided defeat of contender Raymond Joval which Soliman rates as one of his best performances to date.

Confidence seems to be no problem for Soliman who jumped at the oppurtunity to face possibly the most ducked man in the upper echelon of champions and a fighter coming off victories over two of boxing biggest names in the past decade.

This weekends match up is shaping up to be somewhat of a styles clash with the 'rock' solid defense of Wright coming up against Soliman, who most will tell you is an extremely awkward fighter who specializes in throwing punches from all angles and has good counter punching ability. The style of Soliman will be ten fold different to that of Felix Trinidad who was standing in front of Wright all night and almost asking to be pumped with a jackhammer jab and countering with a one dimensional offensive game plan. Wright has shown he can defeat slick movers in his two convincing victories over Shane Mosely but Solimans awkwardness is a chance of bamboozling the P4P fighter into re-thinking a way to defeat the crafty Australian. Is Soliman Awkward enough to look awkward against a fighter like Wright though?

This weekends match up will be almost unknown throughout mainstream sporting Australia, as has 99% of Solimans rise to world middleweight contender. Overshadowed by the simmering rivalry between Super Middleweights Anthony Mundine and Danny Green, the bout will not be televised live in Australia in part due to a double header featuring Mundine and Green in Australia only hours after Soliman has faced off against Wright. Soliman fought Anthony Mundine back in 2001, taking the fight as a late fill in on 7 days notice, against a then 8-0 Mundine, Soliman did enough in the majorities eyes to cause a major upset over the prodigy that was Mundine but was pushed at the final hurdle when the judges scored the bout 113-115, 114-116, 115-113. A rematch with Mundine may be an eventual bout if Soliman is to come out victorious on Saturday night, revenge must be stowed away up there somewhere.

On Saturday night Sam Soliman will enter the Mohegan Sun Arena quietly, more than usual but still very little attention being paid to the #1 contender. To the unknowing Australian public and the rest of the boxing world in general he will be expected to head back into obscurity as little more than a contender after Saturday nights bout. Most people expecting Soliman to take a lesson in Boxing in the class of Mr.Ronald Wright. The believers, the followers and the fans of Sam Soliman however know that it is Solimans chance to do it the right way and showcase the ability that he has, to become more than the second wheel in Australian boxing and use the small glimpse of spotlight to project himself throughout the world.

Article posted on 06.12.2005

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