MELBOURNE - Sam Soliman booked a shot at world middleweight title glory by dispatching fellow Australian boxer Les Sherrington in ruthless fashion in Melbourne on Wednesday night.
After a nine-month ban from the sport, Soliman confirmed his status as the No.1 contender for the IBF middleweight belt held by German Felix Sturm with a technical knock-out of Sherrington in round nine at Flemington's Melbourne Pavilion.
The 40-year-old Soliman was a warm favourite and started in more aggressive fashion by landing a number of jabs and dictating the pace of the bout.
Soliman (43-11, 17 KOs) landed far more blows and goaded Sherrington by rarely raising his gloves to defend.
With quicker feet and fists, Soliman first drew blood in round two and continued to land heavier blows with a broader range of attacks.
In the biggest fight of his career, Sherrington (33-7, 19 KOs) was not without his moments but too often found air with his punches.