Despite the fact that Sam Soliman tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug after their last fight in February 2013, Felix Sturm doesn't feel comfortable using it as an excuse. Sturm was distraught after losing to Soliman but promises to make things right the second time around when he faces Soliman on May 31.
"This fight really hurt. I felt like Bayern Munich must have felt when they lost the UEFA Champions League final in 2012 against Chelsea London. It was heartbreaking. But that's in the past. I don't care that he doped. That's not an excuse for me. I want to erase all doubts; I want to show the world that I'm by far the superior fighter. I didn't train like I should have before the first fight. That won't happen again. I promise I will keep my world title."
Their first fight was very close. Sturm came out of the gate with his guns blazing, decking Soliman in the second round. But over the course of the bout his stamina betrayed him, and Soliman grew stronger, outworking his opponent down the stretch to take a close but unanimous decision. Obviously, it's debatable if Soliman was aided by the performance-enhancer he tested positive for. The fight was eventually declared a No-Contest.
Sturm rebounded in December to stop Darren Barker in the second round, who injured his hip and was forced to retire from boxing due to the injury. Also in December, Soliman returned to stop Les Sherrington in nine rounds.