Michael Katsidis released an official statement Thursday that his fight with Juan Manuel Marquez will go on after the death of his brother, Stathi Katsidis, on Tuesday.
The title fight between the top two lightweights in the world will take place on November 27th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The fight will be televised on HBO as part of their regular coverage.
Dan Rafael of ESPN broke the news on Thursday. From the Rafael article:
"The fight will go on! I will do this for Stathi, my family and myself," Katsidis, who is training in Thailand, said in a prepared statement.
"The moment I walked in for a grueling sparing session after hearing the news of his death earlier that day, my trainer, Brendon Smith, shook my hand and said to me, 'You are about to take the bravest step of your life.' We nodded, smiled and went to work. I worked as I have never done before. He is with me and will be all the way. I am happy about this.
"I have never experienced anything like I felt that day. Stathi is inside me! We will fight this fight together. I know this is what he wants."
As detailed in my previous article, Stathi Katsidis, age 31, was found dead in his home in Brisbane, Australia, last Tuesday by his girlfriend Melissa Jackson. The cause of death is still undetermined. Stathi Katsidis had a history of drug-related arrests, but that has not been determined to be the issue. Authorities have ruled out suicide as a possible cause of death.
Stathi Katsidis leaves behind his girlfriend and their 4-year-old son. Michael Katsidis has dedicated the fight to his brother.