Sam Soliman's opponent for his December 12th date has been confirmed as Argentinian Jose Clavero, 25-2 (11 KO's). His next fight in the US will be his first fight in 2005, perhaps as early as February according to manager Stuart Duncan. "We have every bit of faith in Dan Goossen," said Duncan of Soliman's US promoter. "He has a proven history of making the big fights happen. The way it's looking now, it could be Sam against Antwun Echols for the mandatory shot (at champion Bernard Hopkins). We've already beaten Joval and Echols is next in line." Rated ahead of Echols, however, is IBF number seven Bert Schenk. "What a joke," responds Duncan, "Even if he did earn his spot like the other guys did, we'd fight him on the moon. Anywhere, anytime. Bert Schenk is the weak link at 160. But Echols is a good measuring stick for Hopkins. He's been there, done that."
Soliman's manager also laid down the gauntlet to comeback king Felix Trinidad.
"The fight we'd love is Felix Trinidad. We'll pay you US$1,000,000 to come here, or we'll come to your backyard for a fraction of that. Our number one spot is up for grabs. How much do you really want Hopkins?"
Hopkins is also in Soliman's radar.
"We don't care when or where. We won't price ourselves out of it, and then we'll give 50% to a children's charity of Bernard's choice. How much easier can we make it?"
With it having just been announced that Hopkins is set to defend against Britain's Howard Eastman, Soliman may to have to wait just a little longer to get the champions name on his resume. But the rest of the 160-pound division can rest assured of one thing - notice has been served.