By James Slater – Back when they met in February of 2007, lightweight warriors Michael Katsidis and Graham Earl put on a truly great, all-action slugfest. Katsidis, then largely unknown on British shores, got up off the canvas to finally stop Earl, who was forced to stay on his stool at the end of the 5th-round.
Earl had battled his way back from what looked like an early defeat for him, as he clawed his way back into the fight after suffering multiple knockdowns. The classic took place in London, and now, via an official e-mail he has sent to Team-Katsidis, former British and Commonwealth champ Earl has asked for the rematch he says he was verbally promised that night by the Australian who went on to win the WBO interim belt.
“Ever since our last fight together I was promised a rematch and the chance to get my revenge,” Earl wrote in an official statement. “He got the win that night. He put me down a few times and then I put him down. We were having a war in the 4th and 5th-rounds and I believe I won those two rounds and the fight was in the balance at that stage. If the fight had continued I believe I would have won.
“Last time it was in my backyard, this time it looks like it may be in his. Earl-Katsidis II will give the fans the kind of fight they want and deserve.”
32-year-old Earl went on to say how he has both opened up his own gym and remained in constant training since. Clearly willing to travel to Australia to take on “The Great” in his next fight (who wants to fight at home for the first time in years), Earl would be having his first fight since June of 2009. Fans may recall the run of bad performances Earl had after his gutsy loss to Katsidis: how he was blown away by Amir Khan inside a round and was then taken out in similar fashion by the little-known Henry Castle after that.
Very much having the look of a “shot” fighter, Earl did then manage to win six-rounder over the then 16-125-7 Karl Taylor. No doubt feeling (or telling himself) that the two-year rest he had enjoyed since has done him the power of good, Earl now waits to hear back from Katsidis and his manager. But should the rematch happen?
Against Khan and Castle, is appeared as though Earl’s punch resistance had almost completely deserted him; even if his raw courage had not. Katsidis may have been involved in some quite brutal, damaging fights of his own since stopping the Luton man over four years ago, but he has been operating at world class level. There is no doubt about it: Katsidis has far more left in the tank than it seemed Earl had two years ago.
If the rematch does happen there is no doubt Earl will be in the best shape he can get himself in, and it’s likely he will be able to make 135-pounds well enough. But unless Katsidis, 27-4(22) has gone back and deteriorated due to his poundings he has taken at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez and, last time out, Robert Guerrero, it’s tough to see anything but a quick KO win for the 30-year-old from Toowoomba.