Dominic Wade Barely Tames Sam Soliman

Nobody who fights Sam Soliman comes out the other end coated in glitter. He’s a mess, and he’s likely to upset the A-side with his completely random punch assortment, or else make the A-side look to the crowd like he lost. Friday on Showtime, Dominic Wade won a decision by one total point on the decisive scorecard. The crowd booed. More of the same, then.

Surely Wade will benefit from the experience in what was a huge step-up for the middleweight prospect. Whether he has convinced anyone he’s a legitimate contender in the division is a separate question. This was the most evenly-matched fight of Friday night, and while “evenly-matched” is a better formula for enjoyment than “mismatch,” Wade-Soliman demonstrated that it lacks a guarantee.

Most every round was a mystery; only the 4th, when Wade scored a left hook knockdown that was more of an off balance thing, was all that easy to score. Soliman tended to win rounds with activity, and Wade tended to win rounds with clean blows. But it’s difficult to land clean blows on Soliman, whose slow-motion strobe-light style has been befuddling top fighters for more than a decade. It’s ugly, but it keeps him at least in the ballpark of a win in most every fight. This writer scored Soliman’s latest effort 95-94 for Wade.

So, too, did the deciding judge. The others had it wide for each man, for some reason — most rounds were, truth be told, a coin toss. Wade advances with the victory, although his conventional amateur-honed talent and speed weren’t enough to decisively defeat a true contender, which means he’s only marginally less of an unknown than he was before. Beating Soliman is worth something. Almost losing to 41-year-old Soliman is worth something less than something. Mostly, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

(Photo: Wade, left, Soliman, right; credit, Stephanie Trapp, Showtime)

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.