Michael Katsidis vs Ricky Burns: Saturday Night Fight Preview
This Saturday, fight fans could be treated to a classic when Ricky Burns steps up to lightweight to take on the hard-hitting Australian Michael Katsidis.
Katsidis goes into the fight as the favourite, but there are questions surrounding him. The biggest of these is how Katsidis' body will hold up after the amount of wars he has been involved in.
Often compared to the late Arturo Gatti, Katsidis has taken a crazy amount of huge punches and refused to yield. In his title fight earlier this year with Robert Guerrero, he ate punches that most fighters would have gone down to but refused to take a back step.
Katsidis knows no other way to fight, and has always been willing to take two punches to land one of his own. Go back all the way to 2007's slug-fest with Graham Earl (see video) and see the evidence of this.
While Katsidis has shown no signs of slowing down or changing his approach, he is 31 now and at some point these punches will begin to take their toll.
Katsidis showed no sign of wear and tear when he knocked Michael Lozada out with a crushing body shot in the third round of his last fight.
Burns should be a huge step up in class from Lozada however, who is a solid but not a great fighter.
Last year Burns announced his arrival on the world scene by rebounding from a first-round knockdown to beat Puerto-Rican Roman Martinez, winning the WBO super featherweight title in the process. The Martinez bout was a fight of the year candidate and showed that Burns can survive a war.
That's just what he's going to prove again, this time in a new weight class.
The Scot will have to deal with the unrelenting pressure of Katsidis, but shouldn't find it hard to hit his opponent. Katsidis' defense leaves a lot to be desired. Burn's should be wary of entering into a war as this is just what Katsidis will want.
Scot has to fight sensibly. Robert Guerrero showed how to beat the Australian. Katsidis is reluctant to use his jab to get inside, preferring to duck and move his way close to his opponent. Burns can take advantage of this in the same way that Guerrero did.
By fighting behind a strong jab, Burns can neutralize the threat of Katsidis' hooks. With a longer reach, Burns can achieve this.
The lack of a tune-up fight at lightweight could pose a problem. Moving into a new division with a hard hitter like Katsidis could surprise Burns, and if he is hit early it could be a short night.
If Burns wins, the Scot will turn the heads of the biggest names in the lightweight division. Fights with the likes of Juan Manuel Marquez and Robert Guerrero could be in the offing. Katsidis needs the win more. At 31, another loss would see him struggle to get more big fights. Another brutal war could see some calls for the gutsy Australian to retire.
One thing is for sure, on paper Burns—Katsidis should be an unmissable fight.
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