Michael Katsidis: "I would like to get my revenge"

Michael Katsidisby Geoffrey Ciani - This weekís edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio featured an exclusive interview with reigning WBO interim lightweight champion Michael Katsidis who recently scored an upset knockout victory against Kevin Mitchell in his own backyard at the United Kingdom. Katsidis has been mentioned as a possible future opponent for WBA junior welterweight champion Amir Khan who systematically outworked Pauli Malignaggi in an impressive victory a few weeks back. Katsidis spoke frankly about his recent victory and various other subjects pertaining to his career and the current boxing landscape. Here is some of what he had to say:

On his recent victory against Kevin Mitchell:
ďI was very happy with the result and of course, me and my trainer Brendon Smith, we worked very hard to get that result and of course weíre very happy.Ē

On whether he thought he would beat Mitchell as easily as he did:
ďWell, look, I was very confident coming into it because my boxing has only improved. Over the years Iíve gained a lot of experience and I never underestimated Kevin Mitchell. He is 31-0 and he beat the guy Breidis Prescott who knocked out Amir Khan so he had to be respected. I was prepared to fight for twelve rounds, but of course, when the opportunity was there I took it and got the KO and was very happy about that..Ē

On what it was like beating Mitchell in hostile territory in his own backyard:
ďItís never been a problem for me. Iím very excited about that, Iím very excited about my boxing. It doesnít matter where I am in the world where Iím fighting. Weíre all in the same ring and weíre doing the same business. There was estimated to be about 25,000 at that fight and they were all cheering for Kevin Mitchell, but they are all very passionate fans and they were cheering in the sport that I love. So all around I didnít care who they were cheering for. It just gives me more drive and you know, Iíve done it before there in Wembley in 2007 where I knocked out Graham Earl and Iíve been in many big fights in different countries when thatís been the case. Itís not a problem at all and hostile territory is like being in my own backyard these days.

On whether there is any truth to rumors about him squaring off against Amir Khan and if he is interested in such a fight:
ďOf course. I think thatís a very great fight with Amir Khan. Heís a promising fighter and of course heís one of the best out there. He has the WBA world title at junior welterweight and I want to be prepared to fight anyone. So Iím very excited about that fight, of course, and weíll have to wait and see what happens.Ē

On whether he has ever seriously considered moving to the talented rich 140 pound weight class:
ďAt the moment I am the champion for the lightweight division and Iíve been honoring my commitments to fight at that weight. My last fight came to a purse bid and I was ordered to go to England to fight. I happily did that and I got the result, so wherever duty calls Iím going to honor my commitments. If thatís where the big fights are, if thatís where itís going to be then Iíll do it. I wonít be the first fighter to jump up in weight. You know, itís all fighting and you can mix it up. If you do the work and you have the time to prepare, I think I can achieve pretty much, you knowóthe sky is the limit.Ē

On who he would most like t o face in the lightweight division:
ďThroughout my career Iíve only had the two losses and Iíd like to avenge those losses against Joel Cassamayor and against Juan Diaz. When I had those fights I was relatively new on the international boxing scene. The fight against Diaz was just my third international fight and Cassamayor was my second one. Before that I fought Czar Amonsot in Las Vegas and that was my American debut so Iíve gained a lot of experience now and thatís the most important part for me and Iím very excited about my boxing. Iím very eager to get out there and fight the best in the world so you can put pretty much anyone in front of me and Iím going to be happy to fight them because I have a lot to show and I want the world to see what Iím capable of doing. So Iím not real picky about one fight. Iím one of those guys who will get in there and put on a great war regardless of who it is.Ē

On his first professional loss against Joel Cassamayor:
ďAt the start of the tenth my trainer said to me, ĎLook, youíre in front on all the scorecards, donít go do anything crazy. Youíre in front, just cruise through it and you got this fightí. But with a young head on my shoulders and with a little experience, I just want to blast him out of there. Thatís what I wanted to do and you hit him with a good shot and you hear the roar and then the adrenaline starts flowing, so that was the experience I gained from that, but I saw something in Joelís eyes at the beginning of that round. He didnít want to be there. If it wasnít that I didnít stand up so quickly after taking the shot, you know, I did say I would have got the guy out of there. Itís just one of those things that itís a very valuable experience to be able to take on board. Having done that now, and come back and won the same title again and defended it well, I would hate to be coming into the big fights like Iím coming into now and not have that experience on board. Iím in front of an even bigger world stage now with a lot more to prove. With that experience that Iíve gained, itís just so valuable and Iím very thankful for it.Ē

On his second professional loss in his following fight against Juan Diaz:
ďI felt very confident against Juan and if you look at the fight it was a split decision and some people say otherwise and some people say yeah definitely, I won that fight. You look at the crowd there on the evening of the event, they were very quiet. There were 18,000 people there in Houston in his own backyard, and things didnít go my way. You could always say you had a hand injury and all sorts of things but I took that one on the chin and all I could see now is Iím really looking forward to getting in there with Juan Diaz again because I believe it would be a completely different result with the experience Iíve gained.Ē

On whether he would rather land a rematch with Cassamayor or Diaz:
ďThereís no preference. They could come in any order, then of course, thereís Marquez and Marquez has beaten them both. So beating Marquez Iím sort of getting a two in one deal. Iím just very happy to take whatever fight comes my way. Either one of them, it would be good, and eventually I want to fight them both, of course. I would like to get my revenge there.Ē

On how he would describe himself as a fighter, given other fans compare him to Aturo Gatti and liken him to a real life Rocky Balboa:
ďWell, thatís a great compliment to have and thank you. Arturo Gatti was a great fighter and of course, everyone loves the Rocky movies. But I think itís just about heart. Everyoneís got to show a bit of heart if theyíre ever going to go anywhere. Thatís what Geoffrey was talking about before when a fighter demonstrates how much he has when he comes from a loss and comes back. That was exactly my goalóto come back just exactly like Iíve done and you want to put on a hard fight and thatís what I do. I fight with heart every time.Ē

On whether he believes a fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will happen and who he thinks will win:
ďWell it didnít happen the first time and I understand that it wouldnít happen the first time. I personally believe that it was going to be a bad move for Manny to take that fight because I donít think heís fought a slick, agile fighter like Floyd Mayweather beforeóand Iím not just saying that because I live in Vegas and Floydís from Vegas. But he hasnít fought anybody like that before so that would be a true test. You could never really doubt Manny, also, because look what heís doneólike a lot of people were doubting him when he first went up in weight against Ricky Hatton. I really am sitting on the fence to a certain degree, but I was tending to lean towards the way of Floyd for that fight just mainly because heís a master of the ring, heís been around at that weight a lot longer, and of course heís undefeated, so yeahóthatís where Iím sitting on that.Ē

On how soon he sees himself getting back in the ring:
ďWell thatís just a matter of how badly the promoters put it together, how badly the people want it, and Iím not too sure exactly when the fight is but I know it is going to be soon and Iíll just keep in shape and wait and see what happens.Ē


For those interested in listening to the Michael Katsidis interview in its entirety, it begins at approximately one hour nine minutes and nine seconds (1:09:09) into the show.


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Article posted on 05.06.2010

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