Michael Katsidis had just been through five rounds of some of the most brutal action ever seen in a British ring with Graham Earl in what has become a forgotten classic. In a fight which saw both men down and badly hurt, Katsidis showed his huge heart in becoming the last man standing.
Cut under his right eye and with four separate cuts on his left eye, Katsidis battled through another fight of the year candidate with Czar Amonsot. Both men were hurt in the bout, but yet again, sheer heart and determination once again allowed Katisidis to prevail.
Down in the first round twice and seemingly on the verge of his first defeat, Katsidis rallied back to drop the then-lineal lightweight Champion Joel Casamayor, before finally succumbing to the future hall-of-famer in what many believe to be the last great performance of Casamayor’s career.
“I don’t think he’s afraid to lose, I think he’s more afraid of being in a bad fight.” Sooterkin, BTBC Member
Another loss in his next fight to Juan Diaz may have spelled the end of Katsidis young career, however wins over Angel Ramirez, Jesus Chavez and the unbeaten Vicente Escobedo put him back on the map and brought him to the UK to face Kevin Mitchell.
As we know Katsidis blew away Mitchell in three, but yet again, Katsidis had to battle back through adversity to win. His style has never changed; head up, look the other guy straight in the eye and out muscle him. Sometimes this hasn’t worked, but one thing it has always done is make it a real fight. It will drive the purists crazy but boxing needs excitement like Micheal Katsidis.
His fights bring in new fans, he is Mr. Excitement. And it doesn’t hurt that he is one of the most humble boxers around today, as he displayed after the Mitchell fight.
“I don’t care who the people are cheering for, there are 20,000 passionate people here cheering the sport that I love and that means everything to me, regardless of who their cheering for .”
Once every decade or so we unearth a special fighter, someone who through sheer excitement helps push the sport to a new era. While De La Hoya brought in the casual fans, Arturo Gatti is credited with keeping them hooked.
Similarly today we have Floyd Mayweather Jr., a man who has transcended the sport. Yet while Floyd brings in casual fans, his fights aren’t enough to keep them hooked. Can Katsidis be Floyd’s Gatti?
Let’s hope the powers that be realise what they have with Katsidis before its too late. He may not be the greatest boxer in the world, but for sheer heart, determination, and most importantly excitement, Michael Katsidis is pound-for-pound number one.