Boxing


Thrill-A-Minute Warrior Michael Katsidis Set To Return April 13th On ESPN, Scheduled To Face Ghana’s Albert Mensah

michael katsidisBy James Slater - According to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com, it’s likely exiting slugger Michael Katsidis, now based in the U.S, will make his ring return in Las Vegas, on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights on April 13th in Las Vegas. Set to face tough, durable (never-stopped) Albert Mensah of Ghana, “The Great” will be having his first fight since leaving long-time trainer Brendan Smith.

Looking for a fresh start up at light-welterweight (with further fights at 135 also being something of a possibility for the Australian crowd-pleaser), 31-year-old Katsidis, 28-5(23) and last seen losing in an upset to Scotland’s ever-improving Ricky Burns, could have a tough night with Mensah. Known as “The Tornado,” the man from Accra is no big puncher at 24-3-1(10) but he is durable and he will likely be hugely motivated for this, the biggest fight of his career (let’s hope he doesn’t freeze - all but one of Mensah’s pro fights have taken place in his homeland and he has never fought under the bright lights of Las Vegas before).

Also, is Katsidis past his best, maybe even ready for the taking? If so, it could be Mensah’s night on April 13th. I wouldn’t go anywhere near as far to suggest Katsidis may be a shot fighter, but he has had a long and hard career with a number of brutal wars and the man from Toowoomba has won just one of his last four fights. Losses to Juan Manuel Marquez and Robert Guerrero are nothing to be ashamed of but, begging Burns’ pardon, Katsidis was fully expected by most experts to win the November 2011 bout. Maybe the fact that he failed to win suggests Katsidis is near to the end. Or maybe, as he said immediately after the fight, the hard work involved in making 135-pounds affected him (in his fight before the points loss to Burns, Katsidis fought up at 140).

Scheduled for ten rounds, April’s fight has a good chance of going the distance in my opinion. What is vital for Katsidis is not putting on another electrifying display (he’s given us more than his fair share of classics already), but simply getting the win without taking too much punishment. A good, clear points win that is picked up without the picking up of any facial injuries would suit Katsidis fine. But will Mensah, a fighter who has settled into the light-welterweight class, allow Katsidis to get off that easy? Will there be some rough exchanges in this fight?

As is always the case with Katsidis, this one will be worth watching; especially so as to find out what the former interim WBO lightweight champ has left to offer.

Article posted on 08.02.2012



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