Some sports get lots of coverage, others less so. Boxing does not seem to rank too highly in the coverage stakes, which is why I thought I’d pen a few lines re a local boy gaining world champion status recently.
It was great to see Sam Soliman clinch the IBF middleweight belt in Krefeld Germany, last Sunday. The 40 year old journeyman had a unanimous points victory over local hero Felix Sturm. Soliman had beaten Sturm early in 2013, but had been accused of using an illegal stimulant, which lead to a series of drug tests with disagreements about the findings. Soliman returned to Germany, again fighting Sturm, and now holds a world title.
Soliman has been fighting in professional ranks since the late 1990’s. His record now stands at 44-11, with 18 KO’s. A number of times he has been a contender for a belt; now he has the IBF middleweight belt. For non boxing fans Soliman is possibly best known for his three bouts with Anthony “The Man” Mundine. Mundine won all three of three encounters, though the first and third bouts went the full twelve rounds, with quite a few people disputing these decisions.
In recent times Germany has become a boxing location/stronghold to rival America. Our boxers have had mixed results there in the last decade. Who can forget “The Man” finishing his bout horizontal in his one encounter in Germany. Danny Green a few years later was disqualified in his only bout on German soil. Since then both Daniel Geale, and Soliman have won two bouts each , beating the locals in front of large, parochial crowds.
Let’s see where Sam goes from here. He like Daniel Geale, Jarrod Fletcher and Billy Dib are all damn good fighters, who hopefully put Australian boxing back on the public radar.
The other sporting story of the week I felt didn’t get the recognition it deserved was the appointment of Peta Searle at St Kilda as an assistant coach. Peta has put in the yard hards in football, both playing and coaching. I first was aware of her when she was an assistant coach to Gary Ayres when he coached Port Melbourne to their first flag in over 30 years. The reason she had this job was that she had already proven to have the required skills and knowledge to succeed .
Congratulations Peta, all the best at St Kilda.