By Tyson Bruce
Some guys were just meant to fight each other. No matter how many times Ali fought Frazier or Morales fought Barrera you just knew it would be a marvelous fight. To say that Sturm and Soliman do not fit that profile would be a gross understatement.
The rematch was being contested because Soliman had tested positive after winning a razor thin decision against Sturm last year. This time there was no controversy as Soliman, at nearly forty-one years of age, utilized a supremely awkward style and amazing stamina to give Sturm,39-4-2-(18 ko’s), fits for the majority of the twelve rounds.
The action was extremely awkward right from the beginning as Soliman used his trademark unorthodox style of darting in and out from awkward angles to confound the traditional boxing style of Sturm. Soliman, 44-11-0-(18 ko’s), came close to flirting with disqualification in the third round when he was given three warnings by referee Eddy Cotton for a variety of rules infractions.
Soliman began to take over the action in the fifth round when he looked on the verge of stopping Sturm with sheer activity. Soliman continued to dominate the middle rounds by simply outpunching Sturm. Sturm’s success has always been dependant on his jab and keeping his opponent at a distance and with Soliman’s bizarre style he was never able to get into his rhythm. The majority of rounds were mirror images of one another.
Sturm found some success in the later rounds when he switched to southpaw. To his credit, Soliman bounced back in round twelve by outworking Sturm when it mattered most. Scores were 118-110, 117-111, 118-110.