Diaz – Katsidis Is Off, Haye – Maccarinelli
By Matthew Hurley: The much anticipated bout between WBA/IBF and World Boxing Organization lightweight champion Juan Diaz, 33-0 with 17 knockouts and WBO mandatory challenger Michael Katsidis, 23-0 with 20 knockouts scheduled for February 9th is off. The bout, which was to be broadcast by HBO, fell apart after Golden Boy Promotions secured the WBO promotional rights to the fight by winning the purse bid of $1.5 million dollars in Puerto Rico. Diaz has one fight left on his contract with Don King Promotions and King has invoked a clause in that contract which prevents Diaz from fighting for another promoter. King was overseas at the time of the purse bid.
Article posted on 18.12.2007
HBO backed out of the fight when King issued them a letter spelling out the conditions of the contract and his legal rights. The legal ramifications leave Diaz in a difficult situation. His manager Willie Savannah, who has been extremely vocal in his displeasure with King, now finds his fighter in a Catch-22 where he has one fight remaining on his contract but may have to sort out who and when he fights next in court.
“Who knows if the fight will ever happen,” he told Boxingtalk.com. “It’s not like he’s going to give us a bout agreement that doesn’t have options where he’s trying to get more fights just for honoring his contract.”
In other news, WBC and WBA cruiserweight champion David Haye, 20-1 with 19 knockouts, who was reportedly going to enter the heavyweight ranks, is instead entertaining the idea of meeting WBO titlist Enzo Maccarinelli, 28-1 with 21 knockouts in a unification bout in the UK. The fight, which has been discussed ever since Haye knocked out Jean-Marc Mormeck in the seventh round on November 10th, was in jeopardy because Haye insisted that he could no longer make the cruiserweight limit and would only fight Maccarinelli at a catch-weight. However, this past weekend Haye told BBC Sport that he wants the fight to happen.
“People keep telling me to fight Maccarinelli and I say I’m not a cruiserweight. But it’s being said so much that I told my manager Adam Booth to do what he can to make it happen.”
As for the weight issue Haye said, “I’ve trained every day since I beat Mormeck to make sure that my weight doesn’t go up in the slim chance that the Maccarinelli fight could happen. It’s a fight for the fans. It means little to me as I would bowl him over in a couple of rounds. If it doesn’t happen I’ll be fighting someone very dangerous at heavyweight.”
Maccarinelli expressed his enthusiasm for the bout and hopes that it comes off. “It’s a fight all of Britain wants to see and I’d take it in Cardiff, in London – anywhere. It’s all about Haye, though. I’ve already signed to fight him twice and nothing has come of it, so whether he’s ready to do what he says is another thing.”
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