UPDATE: Juan Manuel Marquez-Michael Katsidis Fight On Hold After Brother's Death
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UPDATE: 10/20/10, 5:35 PST: Australia's Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Michael Katsidis vs. Juan Manuel Marquez fight is indefinitely on hold while Katsidis mourns the death of his 31-year-old brother, who was found dead Tuesday at his home in Brisbane.
Also from the report: "Police have ruled out suicide and say there are no suspicious circumstances, although [Stathi Katsidis] did have a history of drug and alcohol abuse."
UPDATE: 10/19/10, 8:04 PST: Mark Vester from BoxingScene.com reports that a spokesperson for Michael Katsidis said the boxer was in a state of shock and not talking about the incident: "We've just heard the news," said the spokesperson, "Michael is in a state of shock he isn't talking."
Several news outlets, including ESPN, New Zealand's 3 News and the New Zealand Herald, are reporting that 31-year-old jockey Stathi Katsidis, brother of top lightweight Michael Katsidis, was found dead in his home in Australia on Tuesday.
The body was found on Tuesday by the jockey's girlfriend, Melissa Jackson, in Brisbane, according to Jackson's father. Katsidis was the leading jockey in Brisbane last season and had several future races planned.
Stathi and Michael's brother, Brendon, was given the news by his mother, and was preparing to tell Michael soon. Michael is currently in Thailand preparing for a highly-anticipated November 27 bout against Mexican superstar Juan Manuel Marquez.
The cause of death is unknown, but according to some sources, it is expected to be substance-related. The 31-year-old had been arrested in 2008 with ecstasy in his system and had gone out for drinks with some friends on Monday.
Though no official statement has been made regarding the fight, some sources expect that the fight might be postponed indefinitely, which seems very reasonable given the circumstances and the close proximity to the fight.
According to the ESPN article, David Itskowitch, a Golden Boy promotions executive, said, "We haven't spoken to Michael, but we have spoken to Brendon. Our concern right now is for Michael, not as to whether he will fight. He just lost his brother, who he was very close with. However long it takes, he will decide what he will do. Right now the fight is not a concern for us. We're concerned for him."
The undercard of the Katsidis fight was scheduled to include a title fight between Andre Berto vs. Freddy Hernandez and a 10-round match between well-regarded Celestino Caballero and Jason Litzau, who most recently defeated Rocky Juarez.
There is no news on whether the other bouts would continue without the headline bout. If postponed, this would be the second postponement for Berto in the past year. His January bout with "Sugar" Shane Mosley was cancelled after Berto lost several relatives in the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
Our hearts and prayers are with the Jackson and Katsidis families as they deal with this unfortunate passing.
Updates will be posted as they become available.
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