AUSSIE BOXING LEGENDS PART I
By Tom Watt on Aug 9 2014
In this section we aim to bring some exciting little gems from the recent-history of boxing.
In our first edition, we bring you the 2010 fight for the vacant, WBA Super World lightweight title between the Londoner, Kevin ‘The Hammer’ Mitchell (31-0-0 at the time) and Australian, Michael ‘The Great’ Katsidis (26-2-0 at the time). Mitchell came into the fight as a light favourite, unbeaten and home soil, the sky looked the limit for the increasingly popular title prospect.
Why we picked this fight:
We picked this fight mainly because of just how much drama was squeezed into such a short fight. This was set to be Mitchell’s moment, fighting at Upton Park – the home of his beloved West Ham – Mitchell made a dramatic entrance to the chorus of 20,000 rowdy Londoners. Katsidis for his part made an equally impressive entrance adorning his usual Gladiator-esque attire and in no way fazed by the hostile crowd.
The fight started as many had expected, Mitchell beat Katsidis to the jab and moved well around the ring. Katsidis applied pressure as the round progressed, landing a few heavy rights in the process and making it a tight round to call. The second round went much the same way, Mitchell working well off his jab on the back foot and Katsidis continuing to come forward relentlessly and cutting off the ring albeit without landing too many clean shots. After some too-ing and fro-ing the round took off on the minute mark and Mitchell started to find his rhythm. Katsidis finished strongly again but probably didn’t do enough to take the round.
The third round was to prove a very different story. Mitchell looked sharp, eager to prove and was caught by a left right combination from the Australian and stumbled back allowing Katsidis to go on the attack. Mitchell recovered well but the Aussie smelt blood and continued to come forward throwing combination to the head and body. Showing the exuberance of an unbeaten fighter and potentially a lack of experience from not previously being in difficult situations against top class opposition, Mitchell tried to fight his way out of trouble instead of holding on and this was to be his downfall. A heavy left hook shook The Londoner and a subsequent right sent him stumbling backwards, the referee with no choice but to call the fight off.
This fight signalled a significant point in both fighter’s careers. Katsidis was now firmly established as an Elite level fighter, going on to fight big name opponents in the America that included the future Hall of Famer Juan Manuel Marquez and recent Mayweather opponent, Robert Gurrero. In contrast, Mitchell’s rise as a household name in Britain took a blow and he hasn’t quite reached the dazzling heights previously expected of him – he lost in another WBO World title fight to friend and fellow Brit, Ricky Burns and has not secured the World belt he covets so highly. That said, a recent convincing win on the Froch V Groves undercard at Wembley could have positioned him for a potential World title shot with IBF champion Miguel Vazquez. Katsidis for his own part has just beaten his former opponent, Britain’s Graham Earl for the WBU title.
1. FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.
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