By James Slater – You’ve got to hand it to Australian warrior Michael Katsidis – the former interim WBO lightweight champ always, always, always looks for the hard fights. Now aged 31 and coming, as he admits himself, towards the end of one of the most consistently thrilling boxing careers of recent years, “The Great” is currently in negotiations to face Mike “Mile High” Alvarado on the under-card of the bitter grudge-match that is Sergio Martinez-Julio Cesar Chavez Junior.
And, if Katsidis-Alvarado does get made, the support bout in Las Vegas on Sept. 15th could go on to be the best action fight of the night.. Katsidis was to have fought Darley Perez on ESPN in less than a month, but a knee injury – one Katsidis has told The Chronicle is not a long-term issue – put an end to that date. Now, with a fight with Alvarado in the offing, the Toowoomba legend has a greater fight in his sights.
Alvarado, 33-0(23) has given us two classics in his last two outings. Coming from behind to stop the dangerous Breidis Prescott in the 10th-round of a slugfest last November, Alvarado, at 31 the same age as Katidis, then went to war in a FOTY candidate with Mauricio Herrera. The ten-round points win came on the under-card of Brandon Rios’ robbery of a decision win over Richard Abril, and now Alvarado will be looking to further solidify his name as a genuine crowd pleaser in a fight with Katsidis.
Indeed, this fight (if made) has the potential to be savage. With the aggressive, throw-a-ton-of-punches styles of the two men, how could this fight not be a sizzler? But how much has Katsidis got left and can he hang with a big, strong, natural 140-pounder like Alvarado?
Katsidis, 28-6(23) told The Chronicle that this fight could be his last:
“I’ve got about two months to prepare for it. It’s probably the biggest fight of may career,” he said. “This is a big fight. It’s an important fight. It could be a swansong. I don’t want to fight forever. I’d like to go home but I don’t want to go home a loser.”
Now based in America and sounding as though he misses Australia, Katsidis’ talk of possible retirement may well come as a comfort to many of his fans. No fighter, no matter how tough they are, can take the kind of punishment Katsidis is famous for forever, and some people were beginning to worry about the health of the man who has given us so many unforgettable battles. However, there is absolutely no guarantee Katsidis will go out a winner if the fight with Alvarado is his final ring appearance.
Again, this one promises to be savage. The feeling is Alvarado, far less worn as he is, has to be the pick to win – via decision or maybe by late stoppage – but nobody can ever count out “The Great.”