Boxing

Michael Katsidis-Vicente Escobedo A Go For September 19th In Las Vegas

by James Slater - A fight has been officially announced as taking place on the September 19th Floyd Mayweather-Juan Manuel Marquez bill, and it sure will go a long way towards making the Las Vegas show even better. Lightweights Michael Katsidis and Vicente Escobedo will battle it out at The MGM Grand as they try and win the interim version of the WBO 135-pound title. Fireworks are all but guaranteed.

The September card, though it has lost Zab Judah-Matthew Hatton and the talked of Allan Green-Sakio Bika fight (Zab will fight Antonio Diaz on the card, Green will fight Victor Oganoz on October 3rd) looks as though it will attract the fans. And the clash between the blood and guts warrior from Australian going up against the former Olympian from California will be part of the attraction..

As fans know, 28-year-old Katsisdis, 25-2(21) is barely capable of giving them a less than thrilling fight. As is his nature as perhaps the most exciting give-and-take battler since the best days of the late, great Arturo Gatti, Katsidis dishes out and takes pain in equal measure. Who can forget his classic wars with Graham Earl and Czar Amonsot?

But what type of fight can we expect when "The Great" steps into the ring with the year younger man in Escobedo, 21-1(13). Team Katsidis see a win, that's for sure.

Speaking to Australian web site Sports Nut, Katsidis' trainer Brendon Smith said how his fighter has been training in Thailand (where he is very popular) and that he will soon leave to continue preparations in Las Vegas.

"We've been preparing for the fight [in Thailand] and I understand Escobedo has been preparing in Mexico," Smith said. "We've been negotiating for a while and there was a slight hiccup last week, but everything was confirmed this morning. It's been nearly twelve months since Michael had a shot at a world title and we're confident of a win, that's for sure."

Katsidis' last "world" title fight came against Juan Diaz last September, and the Australian went home with a 12-round split decision loss added to his record. Since then he has won two in a row, including his 8th-round TKO over Jesus Chavez this past April. Still massively hungry and intent on becoming a champion all over again (Katsidis briefly held the interim WBO lightweight belt he will be trying to regain, from 2007 to 2008) the genuine fan favourite will also be looking to send the paying customers home happy on Sept. 19th.

Escobedo, slightly younger in years and much younger in terms of punishment taken, is also a better boxer and arguably the faster man. Though not as hard a puncher as Katsidis, Escobedo - who has only a split decision loss on his otherwise perfect record (to Daniel Jiminez in April 2006) - is coming off a quick stoppage of former champ Kevin Kelley. Sure, Kelley is shot to bits (if still courageous and game), but the win is still a decent one. And there is no doubting Escobedo's talent, even if this fight will be his first truly big test.

A pick 'em type fight, Katsidis-Escobeo could well be a classic. Katsidis will probably try and start fast, but Escobeo will likely be right there with him when he does so. A short, explosive fight is a possibility, but I take Katsidis to tough it out for a points win in a fight that will earn both men plaudits from the fans.

Article posted on 09.08.2009



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