The 40-year-old Soliman’s unanimous points win was only the second loss of the German’s career and could set up a bout with fellow Aussie Daniel Geale, the division’s next highest-ranked contender. 

Two of the judges’ cards read 118-110 the other was a more generous 117-111.

Sturm was gallant in defeat: “He won, clearly. He kept moving, he was hard to hit.”

It was the second time Soliman had out-pointed Sturm in February 2013 but it was changed to a no-contest after Soliman was deemed to have returned a positive drug test for a banned stimulant – but his B sample returned clean. 

Soliman, nicknamed King, now holds a winning streak stretching to six years with his last loss to Anthony Mundine in 2008.

Image via Getty