By Tony Nobbs: After back to back defeats to Joel Cassamayor and Juan Diaz in world championship fights, Australia’s Michael “The Great” Katsidis (24-0, 20 KO’s) returned to the winners list with a unanimous decision over Spanish based Argentine runner Angel “The Train” Ramirez (19-5-2, 8 KO’s) at the Cebu Coliseum in The Philippines on Saturday night. With the win Katsidis, from Toowoomba, Queensland, regained the WBO Asia Pacific 135 lb belt, vacant going in, that he held prior to stopping Graham Earl for the WBO interim world title in 2007.
He got the win, but it was hardly a “great” performance over the second half of the contest by Michael who was increasingly frustrated by Ramirez’ survival tactics.
Brendan Smith trained/managed Katsidis (WBO #6/IBF # 11/IBO #21) dominated, with Ramirez only successful in landing the odd punch. Michael, 28, scored an official knockdown in round two, and three times in round four, but also looked to have the 31 year old Latino on the deck from a body shot in the third. However veteran Philipines based Australian-New Zealand referee Bruce McTavish, ruled a slip. Katsidis was deducted a point for hitting Ramirez while he was on the floor in round two.
Ramirez spent most of the first four heats moving laterally but did manage the odd punch. He had notable rope burn by the third. Michael worked the body over and Ramirez slowed his moving in the fifth as Mick bulled him around. There was very little action in rounds 6, 7 and 8. Ref Mc Tavish actually signally “box” after a total lull for several seconds. Ramirez got a breather in the eighth as his corner fixed tape that had come loose. Michael came after him on resumption and stayed on the front foot in the final two rounds and Ramirez continued to his pattern to run, cover up and occasionally throw back.
Official scores: 96-89, 96-89 and 98-86.
Eastside had it 99-86.
Promoter: Sammy G Gell-ano.