Michael Katsidis: Is He Great, or Am I Just Drunk?

John Louie RamosSenior Writer IJanuary 15, 2009

In 2007 Michael Katsidis had his year—two exciting, nail-biter kind of a fights.

The first, against Graham Earl, was a dramatic fight wherein Earl was down three times. Although his corner threw the towel, the referee didn't stop the fight. Next there was a furious exchange. Earl just wouldn't roll over and die.

The second fight, against Czar Amonsot, was a bloody one. Both men were covered with blood, and both were down (in my cards, legit KD by Amonsot). Katsidis' face was deformed while Amonsot was found to have internal bleeding in his brain, forcing a premature retirement. Amonsot was later cleared to fight and is now scheduled to fight on the Jan. 31.

After winning both these Fight of the Year-caliber grudge matches, there were high hopes for Katsidis. He was even viewed as the next big thing, a future Manny Pacquiao opponent.

Then, last year, all those hopes died, courtesy of Joel Casamayor and Juan Diaz.

Casamayor, highly regarded as one of the dirtiest of the sport, stopped the young and aggressive Katsidis in the 10th round. In one of the best fights of 2008, both men kissed the canvas, but in the end the Australian got his first career loss.

Katsidis came to his senses and figured out that he needed redemption. After all, redemption is sweet.

So he fights Diaz, the former three-time world champion. Both fighters had recently suffered their first losses. Nonetheless, only one man could redeem himself and leave the ring triumphant.

In this case, Diaz was the one to be triumphant. He outboxed Katsidis throughout the full 12 rounds, literally outsmarting his opponent.

So what now? Is the guy really overrated?

It's human nature. When you're "it" people praise you—hero's welcome, red carpet treatment. But when things starts to get rough, people also start to lose faith in you.

I didn't answer the question. Is he really overrated?

There's only one way to find out: Jan. 31 at the Cebu Coliseum, Michael Katsidis vs. Angel Hugo Ramirez.

It's make or break for Katsidis.