Felix Sturm is beaten by Sam Soliman in eliminator for IBF middleweight title
Australia's Sam Soliman is in line for a world title shot after claiming a unanimous decision victory over Felix Sturm.
Last Updated: 03/02/13 3:59pm
Former WBA champion Sturm scored a knockdown in the second round but Soliman got to his feet and improved as the fight wore on.
Despite bring the home fighter, all three judges ruled that Germany's Sturm lost the fight at the ISS Dome in Dusseldorf, returning verdicts of 116-111 and 114-113 (twice).
"I landed the clearer punches but I can't tell what's in the judges' heads," Sturm said.
He added: "He was very hard to fight but you can't do anything about it. Now I'll spend some time with my family and see what happens next."
Soliman improved to 42-11 and is now set to fight Daniel Geale, who defeated Sturm last year, for the IBF crown.
There was a moment of confusion at the end of the bout as Michael Buffer announced the judges had awarded it to Sturm before correcting himself as the German and the crowd were celebrating.