Katsidis vs. Diaz II; And a Statement from Michael Katsidis

Michael KatsidisBy John G. Thompson - For those who have not already heard, the excellent March 27th match-up of Michael Katsidis vs. Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero has been cancelled do to the health issues of Robert’s wife, Casey, who is fighting her own battle with leukemia. Certainly no one can fault Guerrero for pulling out, and we all wish Casey well. So who does Katsidis fight instead? It is clear there is one fight which interests Katsidis, and that is a rematch with one of the only two men to have beaten him. Here is a statement from Michael Katsidis:

“I think it is number one priority that I gladly can announce that Juan Diaz has officially accepted my challenge with an immediate public response. Already this shows his willingness to what will be another exciting battle. I know this fight will be at his weight division of which he was formerly crowned the lightweight king of the world. Now I am champion and I am prepared to put my belt on the line against the very best, and at this weight Diaz is assured to be all that is expected. I want to make a firm point to the boxing public. I have held back the truth to my demise in our last fight having suffered a broken hand in the second round of our last fight. Let it be known I will come forward, I will deliver and just as I have regained my title I will dominate all that I fight as now I am far more hardened and experienced then ever before in my career. I mean this with the most humble intentions but making sure to allow prior notice so all can witness the turning point I have worked so hard for..

“To demonstrate my willingness to make this fight, Team Katsidis offered to enter the back yard of Diaz in Houston in order for him to accept this fight. Many have doubted the decisions handed over in the past. Yet, I remain silent. My time will come and with good faith I will not leave the decision of this fight in the hands of one judge.”

“My deepest sympathies to the Guerrero Family and I hope and pray everything will be okay for them.”

While the fight has not yet been made official, Juan Diaz did in fact comment on another website, “I would love a rematch. I beat him the first time and I think this time a fight with Katsidis would prove [to] myself and the whole world that I am not done yet.”

Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz 35-3 (17 KO’s) defeated Michael Katsidis 26-2 (21 KO’s) back in 2008, in Diaz’s hometown of Houston, Texas. As Paulie Malignaggi can attest to, it is difficult to win a decision in Houston, especially against crowd favorite Juan Diaz. Now the same opportunity for redemption granted to Paulie presents itself to Katsidis and it appears as though the Katsidis camp has chosen to fight again in the Baby Bull’s home town.

Katsidis obviously knows he must either dominate or knock out Diaz to win in Houston. If what he said about breaking his hand in the second round of their first fight is true, it seems likely that Katsidis will fair better in the rematch, the first fight having been so close. Size will not be a factor, even though Diaz is moving down in weight. Katsidis has an inch in height and Diaz possesses an inch in reach. Diaz has fought a better level of opposition, with wins against Acelino Freitas, Julio Diaz, and Paulie Malignaggi; and his only losses to a respectable group in Juan Manuel Marquez, Nate Campbell, and Paulie Malignaggi. Twenty-one of Katsidis’s fights have been in Australia, and the best names on his resume are Juan Diaz and Joel Casamayor (whom he lost to in an extraordinarily dramatic fight which saw Casamayor knocked out of the ring, before climbing back in to stop Katsidis).

Katsidis has not lost since he last met Diaz in the ring. Diaz is coming off two losses and two close decisions, and looking to rebound in spectacular fashion in order to preserve his career. The first fight between them was highly entertaining with both men fighting on the inside and constant back and forth action. Whoever wins it is hard to see this being anything short of a fan-friendly rematch on March 27th. In fact, it is hard to see this fight going the distance.

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Article posted on 11.02.2010

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