Michael Katsidis Still Wants Ricky Hatton Fight

by James Slater - It is testament to the quite phenomenal popularity of Manchester's Ricky Hatton that fighters continue to show real interest in fighting him in the future even after what happened to him in his bout with Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand this past Saturday. Often when a top name is annihilated, would-be rival fights look at him as damaged goods and look for another big name to get it on with. This is not the case with Hatton, though..

Former interim WBO lightweight champion Michael Katsidis of Australia, through his manager and trainer Brendon Smith, has made it clear he would still relish the opportunity to fight "The Hitman," even though Ricky's star has undoubtedly dimmed some due to the 2nd round KO he suffered on May 2nd.

Such a fight would likely prove to be a big seller if it took place in the U.K, but just because Katsidis, nicknamed, "The Great," wants the fight, it doesn't mean he will get it. Hatton has yet to come close to making his mind up about whether or not he will even fight again yet, after all.

Still, trainer/manager Smith has made it clear his man would be quite willing to come over to Manchester, U.K for the fight. Smith also believes Hatton WILL fight again. Reportedly, a Hatton-Katsidis fight had been discussed as a possibility even before Hatton's ill-fated clash with the pound-for-pound king.

"I believe it's still a very good chance of happening," Smith told "Knowing Ricky, I don't think he would want to finish his career like that."

And Smith and his fighter are obviously hoping very much that the fight will go ahead as previously discussed. The match-up would have been a curious one had Hatton beaten Pacquiao, but now, as a "comeback" fight, Katsidis would be welcomed as a credible foe for the 30-year-old.

"We are not concerned about going to Ricky's backyard because we've taken our show on the road for the last two years," Smith added. "Michael has a fan base all over the world."

He does, too. A hugely popular fighter because of his all-action, blood-and-guts style, Katsidis has entertained fans in his native Australia, in America and, more recently, in Manny Pacquiao's homeland of The Philippines (Katsidis has also boxed in England before).

Perhaps soon, Katsidis will be doing the same in Manchester, England.

Katsidis, though, a natural lightweight, has other options if a fight with Hatton fails to come off. With his last win, an 8th round TKO over Jesus Chavez, the 28-year-old from Toowoomba earned the right to fight for the WBO lightweight crown. This belt is currently held by the superb Juan Manuel Marquez. As Marquez is to face the returning Floyd Mayweather Junior in July, maybe the belt will become vacant. It certainly will if "Dinamita" upsets Mayweather, as his lightweight days will be all but forgotten.

Perhaps Katsidis will wind up facing a top fighter for the vacant belt. Either way, life is going to be interesting for the Australian tough guy.

Article posted on 07.05.2009

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