Ricky Burns Confirms Move Up To lightweight, Vacation Of WBO 130-Pound Belt - Will Now Face Michael Katsidis, Nov 12th

By James Slater: Scotland’s Ricky Burns has confirmed he will vacate the WBO super-featherweight title he currently holds, as he will make the move up to 135-pounds. The 5’10” 28-year-old has had trouble making the 130-pound limit and his scheduled defence against the unbeaten Adrien Broner is now definitely off.

According to his manager Alex Morrison, who spoke with STV, Burns will now face Australian warrior Michael Katsidis, for the vacant WBO lightweight belt, in Glasgow on November 12th.

“We have had confirmation from Frank Warren’s people that Ricky will now face Michael Katsidis in November,” Morrison said. “The [WBO] lightweight title is vacant just now and we are all agreed that this is the best fight for Ricky in the long run. As Ricky gets older he is struggling to make the weight for his current division and the next sensible step seemed to be to move up to lightweight.”

All in all, this is potentially great news for fight fans. For although the scheduled Burns-Broner fight had “great battle” written all over it, a fight between “The Rickster” and Aussie tough guy Katsidis has all the ingredients needed to be an absolutely fantastic fight.

31-year-old Katsidis, 28-4(23) has rarely been in a bad fight and he is recognised by the fans as a guaranteed value for money fighter each and every time out. The Toowoomba native is coming off a relatively easy 3rd-round KO win over Michael Lozada (having given his fans back-to-back wars, albeit losing ones, against Robert Guerrero and Juan Manuel Marquz in his two previous outings) and his confidence going into the Burns fight will be doubly high due to the fact that his previous two visits to the U.K saw him win in style.

But can Burns, 32-2(9) succeed where Graham Earl and Kevin Mitchell failed and send “The Great” home with a loss?

Burns will enjoy both height and reach advantages over the possibly battle-worn Katsidis, and the younger man has never been stopped as a pro. Having hometown advantage also, Burns and his fans will no doubt feel a whole lot more comfortable ahead of this fight compared to the scratched one against the unbeaten Broner. Make no mistake, though, Katsidis will come ready for a vicious battle.

Can Burns avoid being dragged into a war by utilising his height and reach and boxing clever, or will Katsidis prove to be too strong, too determined and too dangerous for the younger man? This one has the look of a genuine 50-50 fight - one that may even prove to be a 2011 FOTY candidate. After all, what else but a savage, highly entertaining encounter have we come to expect from Katsidis?

Article posted on 13.09.2011

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