Boxing

Michael Katsidis-Robert Guerrero For Interim WBO Lightweight Belt On March 27th?

by James Slater - There is the quite tantalising possibility that crowd-pleasers Michael Katsidis and Robert Guerrero will clash on March 27th, in a fight that will contest the WBO's interim lightweight title currently held by the man from Australia. Up as happening on BoxRec, Katsidis-Guerrero may also be supported by another potentially exciting fight, in Marcos Maidana defending his interim WBA 140-pound belt against the undefeated Victor Manuel Cayo. A great doubleheader, to be sure; if it happens.

The Katsidis-Guerrero fight has the look of a very good battle. Though the warrior from Toowoomba in Australia had his heart set on a fight with "real" WBO 135-pound champ Juan Manuel Marquez, it looks now as though Amir Khan will get that fight (talks are ongoing for Khan-Marquez to take place, up at 140, on May 15th in Vegas).. But if Katsidis gets Guerrero instead, he will have himself a damn good opponent anyway. Who wins?

Guerrero, the second world class boxer who goes today by the nickname of "The Ghost," would be having his first big fight up at lightweight. The former IBF featherweight champion boxed up at 135-pounds two fights ago, when he forced Efren Hinojosa to retire after 8-rounds back in June of last year. In his next bout, the 25-1-1(17) 26-year-old dropped down to 130-pound to successfully challenge IBF super-featherweight champion Malcolm Klassen - out-pointing Klassen in August. Now Guerreo is on the verge of moving up in search of his third championship belt.

Katsidis, 26-2(21) has won three in a row since his loss to Juan Diaz; winning the interim WBO strap last time out by out-pointing Vicente Escobedo back in September. Stopped just one time as a pro, by Joel Casamayor in a real thriller, Katsidis will no doubt fancy his chances against the naturally smaller man (although, according to Boxrec, Guerrero is the slightly taller man).

Guerrero, who has never been halted as a pro, is also a southpaw, however, and the last time Katsidis faced a lefty he lost. Guerrero is no Casamayor, but he is a good boxer, he is the younger man and he has less wear and tear on his body than does "The Great." Despite the possible advantages Guerrero has, though, Katsidis has possible advantages of his own. A harder hitter than his prospective challenger, Katsidis is also the proven man at 135-pounds. In fact, this fight is such an evenly matched affair it's incredibly tough to pick out a winner.

Sure to be a really enjoyable tussle, the styles of the two men could possibly even see to it that we get a fight of the year candidate on March 27th (if, of course, the fight goes ahead). Katsidis has already delivered in this department at least three times - against Casamayor, against Czar Amonsot and against Graham Earl - while Guerrero has yet to give his fans a thriller the calibre of those three epics. This could very well change next month.

As close to a 50-50 fight as you could probably imagine, fans of both men will be in no way sure who wins. I go for the proven lightweight to prevail by close decision in a fine fight, but Katsidis may have to get up from a knockdown or two along the way. The fresher man in Guerrero could also find himself on the mat at some stage.

Article posted on 04.02.2010



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