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Soliman beats Sturm for middleweight title

KREFELD, Germany (AP) - Sam Soliman of Australia won the IBF middleweight title Saturday with a unanimous decision over Felix Sturm of Germany.

A hard-working fighter with an unorthodox style, Soliman was the more active boxer throughout the bout and kept coming at the champion for the entire 12 rounds, never letting up.

''He won, clearly,'' Sturm conceded after the fight. ''He kept moving, he was hard to hit.

Sturm may have landed the bigger punches but there were too few of them. Soliman frustrated Sturm with his constant movement and Sturm appeared lost for answers.

''I wanted to take the fight to him,'' Soliman said.

Soliman won with a big margin on all three cards. One judge had him the winner with a score of 117-111, the other two scored it 118-110.

Sturm hit Soliman with a couple of big rights in the ninth round, the only time he seemed to come close to stopping the Australian. But Soliman recovered quickly and stayed true to his relentless style.

Soliman improved to 44-11. Sturm fell to 39-4, with three draws.

The Australian also won a decision against Sturm in February 2013 but the fight was later ruled a no contest, when Soliman tested positive for a banned stimulant. He was banned for nine months.

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
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