Diaz Katsidis Look Elsewhere; Trinidad-Jones Bout Finalized

23.12.07 - By Matthew Hurley: In the aftermath of the Juan Diaz – Michael Katsidis cancellation both fighters are now looking towards potential bouts in March. The hotly anticipated fight between WBA/IBF/WBO lightweight champion Diaz, 33-0 with 17 KOs and WBO mandatory challenger Katsidis, 23-0 with 20 KOs fell apart after Golden Boy Promotions secured the WBO promotional rights to the fight by winning the purse bid at $1.5 million in Puerto Rico.

Don King, Diaz’s promoter, did not attend the bid because he was overseas and did not send a representative. Diaz still has one fight left on his contract with Don King Promotions, which expires at the end of March and King informed HBO that the Diaz contract prevents him from fighting for any other promotional firm. HBO, in the face of legal action, backed out of the fight.

Diaz is now making plans to face another mandatory challenger. Nate Campbell is being mentioned and it is hoped that the bout will be on the undercard of the March 8th WBC heavyweight title fight between Oleg Maskaev and Samuel Peter in Cancun, Mexico. That bout is scheduled to be broadcast on HBO. Unfortunately the issue of which belts will be at stake is providing yet another hurdle for the young fighter to overcome.

Katsidis, with no sanctioning body to contend with, is being scheduled by Golden Boy Promotions to fight on HBO in late March. There are indications that the fighter may take on Joel Casamayor. However, Casamayor was ordered by the WBC to grant an immediate rematch to Jose Armando Santa Cruz in the wake of their highly controversial interim title fight in November. Casamayor won a disputed split decision by scores of 114-113 twice and 113-114. That bout is not currently scheduled.

If both fighters are victorious in their next bouts they will hopefully meet in a summer showdown, by which time Diaz’s contract with Don King will be expired. However, after the dispute between King and Diaz, the Katsidis camp made overtures to the WBO to strip Diaz of the title and instate Katsidis as the champion because Diaz pulled out of his mandatory defense. The Diaz camp remain in a tenuous position because they don’t want to officially commit to a fight upon which King will demand options on the fighter’s future bouts. This would include a mandatory WBA defense against Nate Campbell.

Whatever happens, all this nonsense threatens to stunt the growth and future of a terrific young fighter who simply wants to prove that he is the best in his division. It’s blatantly obvious that Diaz and his manager, Willie Savannah, want out of the King stable – hopefully that will come about before these machinations mentally affect the boxer in training and in the ring

In other news, the televised undercard for the January 19th Felix Trinidad – Roy Jones bout at Madison Square Garden has been finalized. Don King favorite Andrew Golota, 40-6-1 with 33 KOs will take on Mike Mollo, 19-1 with 12 KOs in a twelve round event. Roman Karmazin, 36-2-1 with 23 KOs will meet Alex Bunema, 26-9-2 with 14 KOs and Devon Alexander, 13-0 with 8 KOs will fight Miguel Callist, 24-6-1 with 17 KOs. The card will be broadcast on HBO pay per view.

Finally HBO will replay the biggest fights from 2007 the network offered fight fans over five straight evenings starting on Christmas night at 11:00 PM Eastern Standard time. The fights include, Kelly Pavlik – Jermain Taylor, Joe Calzaghe – Mikkel Kessler, Floyd Mayweather – Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto – Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather – Ricky Hatton.

Article posted on 24.12.2007

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