Sam Soliman & Dave Hedgecock
By Paul Upham: After Australian boxer Sam “King” Soliman lost a third fight with Anthony Mundine in May 2008 for the WBA super middleweight world title, some may have though, at the age of 34, that his career at the top level was over.
But after a break of fifteen months from the ring, Soliman returned in August 2009 and logged three stoppage wins over Sintung Kietbusaba, Les Piper and Shannon McMahon. Now with an 10th round knockout win over Pradeep Singh on national Fox Sports television, Australian boxing fans know that Soliman is back with his skills and fitness still intact.
36 year-old Singh looked his usual extremely fit self in his fight in the Atrium Room at Flemington Racecourse in Victoria, Australia on Thursday 23 September 2010. Left hooks from Soliman early in the fight caught Singh’s attention.
Dressed in his traditional red trunks, Soliman was applauded by inspirational trainer Dave “The Rock” Hedgecock, as he used his still awkward style to land crisp punches.
While he uses unusual movements to surprise his opponent and can still bend his body seemingly backwards to avoid incoming shots, Soliman punches with good technique when he gets into position and fights hard to the body.
23 year-old Singh 15-3-1 (8) was warned by referee Malcolm Bulner in round 2 for picking up Singh around the waist and throwing him to the canvas. In round 6, Singh again picked up Soliman and dumped him to the floor. Singh was hurt in round 7 with a left, right combination and uppercuts to the chin.
At the end of round 7, Singh tried to take Soliman down once again, but this time the “King” held on to his head and took him with him. They both sprawled onto the canvas and referee Malcolm Bulner deducted one point from Singh. It was a sign that the end of the fight was near.
In round 10, Singh was dropped and hurt badly by a right hand body shot and referee Bulner counted him out at the 1:27 minute mark.
In his 50th fight, Soliman 39-11 (17) won the vacant IBF Pan Pacific middleweight title. What meant even more was the evidence produced that he can still fight.
Just like he demonstrated in his first fight with Anthony Mundine, the thrilling battle with world champion Ronald “Winky” Wright in December 2005 in the USA and his two fight series with Sakio Bika, Soliman can compete at any level and even at the age of 36, is still a force to be reckoned with.
Soliman’s greatest problem is whether he can get the fights he wants and needs because he is such an awkward opponent to win against.