Michael Katsidis Splits With Brendon Smith, Relocates To U.S - In Talks With De La Hoya

michael katsidisBy James Slater: Australian warrior Michael Katsidis had some tough thinking to do after unexpectedly (by most) losing his last fight to Scotland’s Ricky Burns. First of all, the 31-year-old made it clear his lightweight days were over, and in a news article in The Chronicle it has been reported that “The Great” has also opted to part ways with long-time trainer and manager Brendon Smith.

Katsidis, 28-5(23) has been with Smith for twenty long years, his friend and colleague helping him to the position he now holds as one of the most exciting world class operators in all of boxing. Yet after the loss to Burns, Katsidis decided to move to America in a bid to rejuvenate a career that has seen three losses from its last four fights. The decision did not come lightly, however:

“It was one of the hardest decisions of my life,” Katsidis told The Chronicle. “For the best part of 20 years we’ve worked together and we’ve gone as far as we can go now.”

Smith seems to have nothing but best wishes for his former charge:

“All good things do come to an end,” the trainer/manager said. “It’s been a wonderful, tough and enjoyable journey.”

So, what now for Katsidis?

According to the news piece, the former interim WBO lightweight ruler will base himself in the U.S, is in talks with Golden Boy Oscar De La Hoya, and wants to become a world champion again - the aim almost certainly to be to try up at 140-pounds. It will be most interesting to see who Katsidis takes on as his new trainer, as will it be interesting to see which state in the U.S the blood and guts Aussie decides to call his new home.

Katsidis certainly needed a change so as to give it one more go. Heavy losses came at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez and Robert Guerrero, before the upset loss at the hands of Burns. Before the points defeat to the Scot, Katsidis had won a bout at 140 - maybe he can achieve something as a light-welterweight?

As thrilling to watch as he is, and as great value for money he is each and every time out, it would have been a shame for the fans if Katsidis had opted to walk away after his fifth defeat. The Australian’s long-term health is always a concern considering how much punishment he’s taken in his rollercoaster of a career, but for as long as he’s in the ring those fans who are not of a squeamish nature will enjoy watching the Toowoomba star do his thing.

Roll on his Golden Boy debut?

Article posted on 25.11.2011

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