Sam Soliman to face Antoine Douglas in make-or-break meet

IF Sam Soliman has intentions to recapture the IBF middleweight title, he must beat Antoine Douglas.

Soliman, now 42, will travel to the US for the third consecutive time in hope of securing a drought-breaking win on March 5th in Pennsylvania – having dropped his last two fights – albeit in controversial circumstances.

In Douglas, the Melburnian is facing a slick and heavy-handed prospect, who with the backing of US cable giant Showtime Sports, has showed no signs of slowing down in a rapid rise to the top of the middleweight division.

Soliman (44-13, 18 KOs) has always been a crafty and unorthodox assignment for many world level operators and as history as shown, the former titleholder has an unique ability to smother even the neatest of works.

The fight holds significance for the IBF #7 rated Soliman, as Douglas, who holds a triplet of regional baubles, is well rated across three of the four major sanctioning bodies. Most notably, Douglas is listed as WBA #6 and WBO #4.

While the ratings do not suggest that Douglas is capable of challenging divisional leader Gennady Golovkin, a dearth of willing contenders means a win for Soliman could put him back in the middleweight title picture.

Ironically, the pending fight will not be the first time Douglas and Soliman have shared a ring.

The pair sparred multiple times in preparation for Soliman’s IBF title defence against Jermain Taylor in 2014.

The fight will be televised as a part of a triple header, which will also feature fights between Julian Williams and Marcello Matano, as well as a crossroads matchup between Tony Harrison and Fernando Guerrero.

Douglas (19-0-1, 13 KOs), is riding a five fight win-streak since drawing with capable Frenchman Michel Soro.

Douglas last fought in November, where he floored Australian Les Sherrington five times in four one-sided rounds.

Photos: Getty Images/Esther Lin



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