Michael Katsidis: ďIím a fighter and I love getting in these tough fights, thatís what I doĒ
by Geoffrey Ciani (Interviewed by Jenna J & Geoffrey Ciani) - This weekís 118th edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio (brought to you by CWH Promotions) featured an exclusive interview with Michael Katsidis (27-3, 22 KOs) who is scheduled to face Robert Guerrero (28-1-1, 18 KOs) for the interim WBA and WBO lightweight titles. Katsidis spoke about his upcoming fight and also talked about his career and other matters pertaining to the current boxing landscape. Here is a complete transcript of that interview:
JENNA J: Itís time for our second guest of this weekís show. He is the former two-time lightweight champion of the world making his second appearance ďOn the RopesĒ. We have Michael Katsidis. How are you doing today, Michael?
MICHAEL KATSIDIS: Not bad, thank you. How are you?
JENNA: Iím doing great. Iím definitely happy to be having you on the show today. I first got to ask you, you got a pretty big fight coming up on April 9 against Robert Guerrero. What do you think about this matchup?
KATSIDIS: Yeah look, Iím very excited about this fight. Itís a very good opportunity for me once again. I had the opportunity before and had some big fights and big names, and namely my last one with Marquez. This is just the perfect opportunity for me to get back in there and become interim lightweight champion of the world.
JENNA: Alright now you just mentioned interim world champion. This is going to be for both the WBA and WBO belts. I mean how excited are you just to immediately get back in there and fight for the title?
KATSIDIS: Well off course, I mean I donít want to sit on the sidelines for a long time. Iím a fighter. This is what I do. This is what I love and it has been made a public statement that Nacho Beristain has said that Marquez will never fight me again. Whether thatís an absolute Ďabsoluteí or not Iím not too sure, but one thing I do know is by beating Robert Guerrero it will force Marquez into a position where he will have to either fight me. The demand will be huge for the fight to happen and the pressure will be on for me to fight for the outright championship and this is why Iím doing this fight.
JENNA: Now Robert Guerrero is a multi-division champion. What do you think of him as a fighter?
KATSIDIS: Look heís got to be respected. Heís a great fighter and heís coming off some great wins. He beat Escobedo. I had a very tough fight with Escobedo. He beat Escobedo convincingly and he had a very good win against Casamayor. Look, heís a great fighter. Heís a very intelligent fighter and heís got to be respected, and of course as with every fight Iím prepared as always.
JENNA: Now he hasnít lost a bout in five years. Do you think thatís his biggest advantage? Being on a win streak?
KATSIDIS: I donít think makes any of a difference. On the night you get in there and youíre put in with a real fighter I think all the difference is there and then. You can have as many wins as you want beforehand. Of course Iím a positive thinking fighter. Iím coming off a loss so Iím not going to tell you his biggest advantage. Iím always going to put the positive spin on anything so I donít think it makes any difference at all.
JENNA: Okay now you mentioned your last fight against Juan Manuel Marquez. That was an exciting fight. It was one of the best fights of 2010. When you look back at it Michael, how do you feel about your performance?
KATSIDIS: Well yeah, it was given ĎFight of the Yearí actually and people enjoyed that fight. It could have went either way throughout the whole fight. Itís just one of those things. Look, in a perfect world I believe I win that fight so of course Iíd like to have it again. Iím a fighter and I love getting in these tough fights, thatís what I do. Thereís a chance the fight could happen again. If it doesnít itís fine. I just want to become the outright champion of the world and I believe by fight Guerrero, heís the best out there. He really is. This is going to prove a lot for me and itís going to be a big statement on the boxing scene.
JENNA: If you win this fight with Guerrero and are unable to get a rematch with Marquez, do you think youíll have a desire to move up to 140 and face the big names in that weight division?
KATSIDIS: I mean of course these are things that we will look at later. Iím a growing person also. I would be very strong at junior welterweight. But of course these are things that I would look at later. At the moment Iím just two weeks out from the fight of my life. So I have not looked past.
JENNA: Well Michael, weíre also joined by my Co-Host Geoff.
GEOFFREY CIANI: Hi Michael. Itís a pleasure to have you back on the show.
KATSIDIS: Itís a pleasure to be here also. Thank you.
CIANI: I wanted to touch back on the Marquez fight a little bit more. Now you dropped him with a big punch in the third round. What was going through your mind at that point in the fight? Did you think you had him where you wanted him or did you think he was going to come back firing?
KATSIDIS: You know I think at that stage too much was going on in my mind and that just goes back to personal things as well at that stage. Itís probably one of the few times, well only time throughout my career where Iíve actually given a bit of mercy. Like I hesitated when normally I just go with that instinct and I donít think too much. The instinct just goes off. I remember actually pausing when I hit the guy and I just thought instead of like bombing the guy and taking him our or throwing a flurry of punches and going for the stoppage or something like that, because I saw the way that he comes back, especially the way that Diaz exhausted all his energy and then got stopped later on in the fight. I thought Iím not going to make that mistake. I thought a bit too much. What Iím good at is acting on my instinct and then doing things the way I originally would have done them. So look I learned a lot in that fight and that split moment where you pick up things you canít pick up in sparring or anything like that. Itís just that very valuable ring experience at that time that I believe I learned during the fight.
CIANI: So of all the things you did learn in that fight, whatís the one most important thing that you take out of it going into this next title fight?
KATSIDIS: Never give a sucker a break. Thatís the one thing. If I get this guy hurt Iím going to finish the job. Thatís one thing that I can promise you.
CIANI: Now when you face Robert Guerrero this will be the first time youíve gotten into the ring with a southpaw since your fight with Casamayor, and Iím wondering do you do anything especially different in your training and preparations to face a southpaw?
KATSIDIS: Well of course just the general things people would normally take into accord when fighting a southpaw. Youíre fighting a guy who leads from different angles. I mean thatís just the basics that anyone would prepare for. Iíve prepared like normal for each fight. Nothing much has changed. Iím fighting a southpaw so I adjust accordingly.
CIANI: What about Robert Guerrero impresses you the most watching him and just studying his fighting style?
KATSIDIS: The guy is young, but heís not too young. Heís got a lot of experience. Heís fought some of the best. He beat Casamayor. Heís beat Escobedo. I had a tough fight with Escobedo as I just mentioned before, and he beat Escobedo very convincingly. So look, heís got it all and Iím going to have to be above my game to get on top of him. I want to make a statement with this fight and I want everyone to see when I win this fight and when I do win it convincingly also. Weíll be looking at a guy that rightfully can be the outright champion of the world.
CIANI: Now changing things up a little bit here but sticking with southpaws and possibly the most popular fighter in boxing who happens to be a southpaw, Manny Pacquiao. He has an upcoming fight against Sugar Shane Mosley. A lot of fans are counting Mosley out in this fight and Iím wondering what your views are and whether you think Sugar Shane has a chance in that upcoming May fight?
KATSIDIS: You cannot count Mosley out. You cannot count him out. I donít think that Pacquiao has ever fought a mover, and Iíve said this before that I believe Mayweather. Look when I pick the winner of a fight I donít pick it based on favoritism. I just say my belief in boxing. I donít believe Pacquiao has fought a mover such as Mayweather before. Whether Mayweather is still up to the standard with Pacquiao now with all of the personal issues he has going on, but I donít believe heís fought a mover as such. You know you look at the fight when Mayweather fought against Mosley, Mosley was smart enough to catch the guy in the second and almost had him out of there. Then you put Mosley in with someone like Pacquiao who moves nowhere near in the way that Mayweather moves. I think this is a very, very dangerous one to look at for Pacquiao. You never can count Mosley out. A lot of people say of course heís getting older, but heís still got that fighter instinct, heís still very intelligent, and he still can pull it out. Freddieís not stupid. Freddieís very intelligent and Pacquiaoís very intelligent so theyíre going to be aware that Mosleyís will be looking for that big one, but never count Mosley out. Thatís the way I look at this fight.
JENNA: Alright Michael, since weíre on the subject of big name fights, what other matchups do you think can be made out there that are good for boxing?
KATSIDIS: I think Katsidis-Guerrero is a great one! (laughs) I havenít really gotten too much into any of that. Like Iím just coming off some heavy training sessions at the moment and Iíve been training really hard, and thatís the last thing thatís been going through my mind at this point. But Iím sure like after this fight Iíll be screaming out a few names that will quickly come to my mind but right now I just donít have anything there. Sorry.
JENNA: Thatís definitely fine. Letís go back to your fight with Robert Guerrero. What do you think is your biggest strength you carry into the ring with you?
KATSIDIS: I donít think that heís fought a fighter at my level quite as yet. I know he beat Casamayor but I think when I fought Casamayor I was relatively inexperienced. Now Iíve gained a lot of experience. I think the big telling factor is going to be is how much of a toll has played on me from the fights that Iíve had. A lot of people are questioning if I have it left and I think these are questions that are going to be answered during the fight and no one is going to know until the fightís actually happened. So itís just a wait and see game I guess.
JENNA: Alright now if you win this bout and not looking too far ahead of yourself, but if you win this bout you did say before that you would like to have a rematch with Juan Manuel Marquez. What do you think you can do differently in the ring, besides just jumping on him and attacking him when he was hurt, that will allow you to be more successful in the rematch?
KATSIDIS: Well of course I look at it differently. I would like to redeem wins against all three of more losses. In the fight with Marquez Iíd look at that and of course youíd have to approach it differently. There are ways. I learned a lot during that fight and I think at some stage during that fight I would catch him again and I will be right on top of my game. I have a lot to prove within myself is my belief.
JENNA: Alright now Michael, how much would it mean to regain a championship belt?
KATSIDIS: Itís a very special moment for me. Itís something Iíve been working at for a long time. Itís everything. Itís a very important thing to me. Of course as anyone would understand, this is my life and this is what I do so itís that important to me.
JENNA: Alright now what is your official prediction against Robert Guerrero on the April 9 bout?
KATSIDIS: Knockout round one!
JENNA: Wow, you set your goals pretty high there. I think weíll be in for an exciting fight if that does happen. I have one final question for you Michael. You have a lot of fans and you have a lot of people who have supported you throughout your career. Is there anything you want to say to those people?
KATSIDIS: No, just keep watching my fights. Youíre going to get a guaranteed good fight every time. Iím more of an action person than one for talking it up. So April 9 is when youíre going to see it. Thank you very much.
JENNA: Well I canít wait for this fight. Itís going to be an exciting one. I wish you all the best of luck Michael and I look forward to seeing it.
KATSIDIS: Thanks guys. Thank you very much.
CIANI: Thanks Michael, good luck.
KATSIDIS: Thanks. It was a pleasure talking to you.
For those interested in listening to the Michael Katsidis interview in its entirety, it begins approximately twenty-six minutes into the program.
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Article posted on 03.04.2011
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