World IBF No 1 contender, Sam ‘King’ Soliman has called on Victoria’s boxing fans to “come out and see me” take on Australian No 4 Middleweight, Les ‘Lock and Load’ Sherrington in Flemington on December 11. Both Soliman and Sherrington are the only Australian middleweights who are unbeaten in their last six outings – Soliman not having lost in the past five years, and Sherrington on an eight bout winning streak.
The fight, which has been sanctioned by the WBA is for the WBA Pan Asia Boxing Association’s Interim Middleweight title belt, gives a top ten world ranking to the winner The fight is the last bout Soliman must have before the Middleweight Title bid for the IBF Middleweight World championship in August 2014. Soliman, Germany’s Felix Sturm and the IBF President Daryl Peoples signed a contract mid this year, which gives Soliman the right to take on the winner of Darren Barker and Sturm fight in Germany on December 7.
“I’m a fight away from my first tilt at taking on the world’s IBF Middleweight champion, whoever he is,” Soliman said. “I’m putting a lot on the line with this fight. I know that Les Sherrington is a tough fighter and a big hitter, so I need to be at my best.” “This fight pits me against one of the best middleweights in Australia with 33 wins – 19 by knock out. That said, I’m confident I have the form and experience to beat Sherrington.” Soliman said three weeks sparing with five time world champion Shane Mosley in preparation for the on –off – and now on again Anthony Mundine fight, has sharpened his motivation and form.
“Shane Mosley is a great boxer and decent person. Our sparring rounds were intense and combined with the training regime I’m on, I’m feeling sharp and ready to fight. “I’ve taken some big hits this year after winning a unanimous decision against German boxer Felix Sturm in his hometown and having my win questioned by Germany’s local boxing association, Bund Deutscher Berufsboxwer (BDB). But I’m a hard man to keep down, as Felix Sturm already knows.” Soliman’s German lawyers have launched an appeal against the BDB decision, which is to be heard by the District Court of Kiel (Germany).
“I know that the actions taken by the BDB were wrong. I am pursuing this matter through the courts in Germany right now to prove my point and to respond to the tarnishing of my reputation,” Soliman said. Sherrington, who is managed by Brendon Smith out of Towoomba Queensland said: “I appreciate the opportunity to take on Sam Soliman and can’t wait to get down to The Pavillion – Melbourne’s home of boxing, and show the boxing public what I can do against one of the leading Middleweights in the world.”
Sherrington’s manager, Brendon Smith said: “ It’s been a long time coming, and finally we have two of Australia’s world top ten boxers in the ring together. Both are on major winning streaks, and I can promise this will be a big one. All boxing fans know what’s at stake here, so may the best man win.” Team Soliman’s David Stanley promises an explosive fight night with a surprise undercard. “Half the boxers coming in from around Victoria and Australia are sitting on no loss records. It’s going to be a great night boxing, and we’d like to see boxing fans out there enjoying it.”