Boxing


Michael Katsidis-Kevin Mitchell - A Great Fight For Great Britain!

by James Slater - As fight fans may be aware, top British promoter Frank Warren recently won the purse bids for the Michael Katsidis-Kevin Mitchell clash, and, according to Warren, the fight will take place in the U.K on May 8th (exact venue yet to be announced). What this means is, not only can the unbeaten Mitchell, very possibly a star of the future, look ahead to his first "world" title fight opportunity; but fans in Great Britain can look ahead to a fight that can only be a great fight!

Set to defend the interim version of the WBO lightweight crown he won with an impressive points win over Vicente Escobedo back on the Floyd Mayweather-Juan Manuel Marquez under-card in September of last year, 29-year-old Katsidis will be hoping for a fight not altogether dissimilar to the one he had in his only other visit to the U.K. Back in February of 2007, against the too-brave-for-his-own-good Graham Earl, "The Great" won a real thriller in capturing the WBO interim belt at 135-pounds for the first time.

Both men went to war in an amazing fight that was soon to become a big hit on You Tube, and both guys took some hard shots, with both guys being given counts in the five-round slugfest sensation (Earl was legitimately decked twice in the 1st, once in the 2nd and Katsidis was given a count in that incredible 2nd-round). Eventually, Earl was retired by his corner at the conclusion of the 5th-round. And now the Australian tough guy, who has lost and then regained the interim title, will fancy his chances, surely , of doing to Mitchell what he did to the man from Luton.

Maybe, had the 26-2(21) warrior met Mitchell, 31-0(23) a year or two ago, another brutal slugfest is what he'd have gotten. But that was the old, super-featherweight Kevin Mitchell; the new and improved (under the superb guidance of trainer Jimmy Tibbs) version of "Mighty" Mitchell is a patient, highly skilled boxer/puncher - a man who was capable, last December, of giving the fearsome Breidis Prescott something of a boxing lesson.

Nowhere to be seen last December 5th was the Mitchell who was tagged and hurt in his war with Carl Johanneson. More than likely at his very peak now at age 25 and boxing as a strong lightweight, Mitchell doesn't figure to give Katsidis anywhere near the amount of chances Earl gave him. What Katsidis may well be in for, and what it is to be hoped he is training for right now, is a hard-to-hit boxer/mover who can counter well and has underrated punching power. How will the man from Toowoomba cope if he has to chase the Londoner the way Prescott did?

This is not to say Mitchell has a definite win coming his way; far from it. Katsidis, even when he's behind in a fight, doesn't know how to give up. Therefore, even if Mitchell's silky skills do make him look clumsy and awkward for a few rounds, and even if he is finding himself getting marked up (as Katsidis has done in a number of his fights) it may not mean all that much. In possession of raw power, one punch from the four-years older man could end the fight at any time.

Mitchell knew he couldn't afford to put a foot (or a glove) wrong against Colombia's Prescott late last year, and the same thing applies to this fight. The real winners in this one will be the knowledgeable British fans. Katsidis is well known and well respected and the fans will not forget his last visit to these shores any time soon. Indeed, it will be good to see the fighter who, in the opinion of many, is the best value for money fighter operating at world level today, back in the U.K.

Of course, this respect will not see to it that Mitchell's fans do anything other than cheer their hero on for all they're worth; but it could well be that Mitchell, once again, has to fight the fight of his career! Well done indeed to Frank Warren for grabbing hold of this fight and for giving it to Great Britain. As to who will win, well, that's some tough prediction to make. Both men will give it their all and one punch from Katsidis can make a mockery of any prediction. That said, I go for Mitchell to prevail in an engrossing fight via a close points victory.

Article posted on 06.03.2010



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