Boxing


Ricky Burns: How Far Can He Go!? And What Next For Michael Katsidis?

By James Slater: The way he’s going, Scottish hero Ricky Burns will soon become a global boxing hero. Now the claimant of “world” titles at two weights, super-featherweight and lightweight, the 28-year-old has gone from strength to strength in his storybook career.

It all started for Burns back in September of last year, when the boxer from Coatbridge upset the odds in a big way by out-pointing unbeaten Puerto Rican star Roman “Rocky” Martinez. That win put the tall 130-pounder well and truly on the world stage, and three retentions of his WBO crown followed. Last night, in his 135-pound debut, against the most formidable opponent of his career, Burns really proved his talents. Tough, relentless Australian warrior Michael Katsidis - known as “The Brit-Basher” thanks to his U.K stoppage wins over Graham Earl and Kevin Mitchell - was thought by many good judges to be too strong for Burns; even a step too far. But no, Burns boxed magnificently last night, handing “The Great” a wide points defeat.

The sky truly is the limit for the Scot right now as a result. The new weight clearly suits Burns well, and there is even talk of him one day going up again; this time to light-welterweight. Unbeaten since way back in early 2007, when the body shots and the relentless pressure of Carl Johanneson got the better off him over 12 all-action rounds, Burns seems to be at his peak now. This is a good thing, seeing how the lightweight division Burns has invaded is a talent-rich one.

Possible dream fights against the likes of Brandon Rios, Antonio DeMarco and maybe even Juan Manuel Marquez are not entirely out of the question, and then there could be some massive fights for Burns up at 140. It may be easy to get carried away where Burns is concerned, but his recent form really does suggest he could become a great in the future. “The better the guy in front of me, the better I perform,” Burns says. So far, he’s more than proven that.

As for 31-year-old Katsidis, now 28-5(23), he again gave his all in a fight, coming on strong in the later rounds at Wembley. Not one to make excuses, Katsidis did acknowledge how his making 135 hurt his performance somewhat. “That was always going to be the question,” said the warrior who had his last fight up at 140. Maybe the light-welterweight division is where further glory awaits the fan-friendly operator.

Katsidis, who says he suffered a perforated ear drum in the 1st-round last night, refused to take any credit from Burns, and he won more fans as a result. How much has Katsidis got left? With his electrifying style, Katsidis has enough left to at least challenge for one more major title I feel. The idea may seem more than a little brutal to some, but I’d still pay good money to see the Toowoomba tough guy in there with either Marcos Maidana or Lucas Matthysse.

Article posted on 06.11.2011



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