Time for the Young Bulls: Five Reasons to be Excited for Diaz-Katsidis

Teddy MazurekCorrespondent IAugust 16, 2008

Boxing talk has been centered lately on Manny Pacquiao and Oscar De La Hoya (not Olympic boxing because it is just plain bad).    

While boxing fans have gravitated to these big names, it’s as if no one cares or even knows about what great fight looms on the horizon.  This is a bout that will be competitive, action packed, and maybe even a career maker and breaker.

On September 6 Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz (33-1, 17 KOs) will fight for the vacant IBO lightweight title against Michael “The Great” Katsidis (23-1, 20 KOs).

 Although it is too early for me to analyze this fight and give you my prediction, here are five reasons why you should watch Diaz versus Katsidis.

1.       HBO not HBO PPV

It makes no sense to me why this fight is not pay per view and the Pavlik -Hopkins fight is.  Obviously Pavlik and Hopkins are bigger names in the sport but it is more likely that the Diaz-Katsidis fight will be more exciting with lots more action.  This is truly a blessing boxing fans, a free fight with guaranteed action.  Give your wallet a break people, this fight is on HBO.  Sit back, relax, and watch these two warriors put on a show.


2.      No Clinch Fest

Did you happen to see the Diaz-Campbell fight or the Katsidis-Cassamayor bout?  If you did then you can confirm my belief that both fights were entertaining and worth seeing.  While both fights had clinches throughout, most were initiated by Campbell and Cassamayor, although Diaz did clinch frequently after he couldn’t see out of his eye.  Don’t expect Diaz-Katsidis to have lots of clinches, instead look for both fighters to get close and throw bombs and combinations at will. 


3.      Make and Break Fight

Both Diaz and Katsidis lost heartbreakers in their last fight.  Diaz was on the wrong side of a split decision against underdog Nate Campbell and Katsidis was knocked out in the tenth round by Joel Cassamayor.  Diaz and Katsidis both had bright spots and even opportunities to win, but neither took advantage of those chances. 


The winner of this fight will be right back in the top tier of lightweights and have the IBO belt as their reward.  The loser on the other hand, will take another step back in the lightweight division and have a really hard job in showing his worth as a boxer among the lightweights.  This bout comes with a lot to gain but also a lot to loose.


4.      For the Ring Magazine Championship if…

Six months ago before either fighter had lost, a Juan Diaz versus Michael Katsidis fight was a realistic Ring Magazine title bout.  If Juan Diaz hadn’t lost to Nate Campbell, he would have retained his number one ranking in the lightweight division according to Ring Magazine.  He also would have belts from the IBF, WBA, and WBO. 


On the other hand if Michael Katsidis had not been stupid in the tenth round and gotten knocked out, it was very likely he could have won a decision over Joel Cassamayor.  After getting knocked down twice in the first round, Katsidis had slowly been taking over the fight and winning rounds according to the judges.  He even knocked Cassamayor through the ropes in the sixth round.  At the time of the referee stoppage Katsidis was winning on two out of the three judges’ score cards by a point.  A Katsidis victory would have dethroned Cassamayor as the Ring Magazine champion and more than likely moved Katsidis up to the number two ranking. 


If you aren’t interested in the fight, imagine that is between the number one and two ranked lightweights.


5.      The Crystal Ball of Boxing

The upcoming fight is between two of the best young lightweights in the sport, along with Amir Khan.  Don’t underestimate Juan Diaz because he is only 24, his boxing skills and intelligence are far past his years. 


Although Michael Katsidis has a lot to learn when it comes to boxing smarts, he has the heart of a champion and good punching power.  The winner of the Diaz-Katsidis bout will rise in the lightweight rankings, while the loser most likely will have to change weight classes in order to have another title shot.

No matter of the outcome both fighters have lots of potential and still have many years of boxing to come after this bout.