Think Gatti v Ward. Think Corrales v Castillo. This is a fight that on paper has all the characteristics to be an absolute barnstormer, albeit on a domestic level. One of the greatest warriors of boxing in recent years Michael ‘The Great’ Katsidis returns to English soil once again in his black Greek Spartan warrior helmet to take on the tenacious, home city fighter, Tommy Coyle in Hull on October 25th with the IBF International Lightweight title on the line.
Katsidis who has developed a reputation of dishing out beatings to English fighters was thought to have finally drawn the curtains on his long, tough and illustrious career after results of CAT and MRI Scans revealed health issues that cast doubt on his future in the sport back in February 2013. Fighting though, runs deep in Katsidis’ blood and it wasn’t too long before he was back on the warpath to a shot at another world title after being given the all clear to fight.
The Toowoomba born fighter has managed to register two wins after his unsuccessful spell between 2010 and 2012 where he lost four out of five fights. He has won against Eddy Comaro by third round TKO before battering Graham Earl from pillar to post for 12 rounds in their second clash a few months ago. However these are not great indicators of whether the Katsidis still has enough left in the tank to challenge at world level again. Graham Earl had been retired for five years and had failed to make weight for the fight so was way past his prime whilst Comaro was a low level opponent.
When you think about vintage Katsidis performances you think about some of those against English domestic level fighters. In 2010 he knocked out the then unbeaten 31-0 Englishman, Kevin Mitchell in a three round demolition job after facing thousands of hostile east enders in their heartland at West Ham United’s Upton Park stadium. The Australian brawler is gladiatorial by nature. A hostile crowd only seems to energise the Aussie who craves the fight night atmosphere that only the vociferous UK city crowds can generate. There will certainly be no home advantage for Coyle with his opponent having made a career of travelling to other fighter’s backyards to claim victories. Of course, who could forget the Katsidis fight against Graham Earl at Wembley arena in 2007? It was a brutal affair which almost saw the two men punch themselves to a standstill at one point.
British prospect, Tommy Coyle, is on a good run of form under the management of Matchroom Sport with four straight wins. The fight before his last tune up outing was an epic, fight of the year contender against the really tough Argentine, Daniel Eduardo Brizuela, back in February where he came through to claim the IBF International Lightweight title. It was a dramatic action packed fight in which both men were knocked down to the canvas four times each with Coyle finally prevailing with a stoppage victory in the 12th and final round. With his all action, high intensity style Coyle much like his opponent Katsidis, is a real crowd pleaser so the two styles will no doubt make for an absolute war of attrition.
Coyle is the younger, fresher man with an abundance of desire; all factors which will be in his favour. However for all his attacking aggression he is susceptible defensively. He was knocked out by a vicious shot from British rival Derry Matthews in the 10th round in July 2013, after being in command for much of the fight he was nailed with the flushest of left hooks and it was goodnight Vienna. It will be a worry as Katsidis is a strong puncher who has had the likes of Mexican legend, Juan Manuel Marquez on the seat of his trunks.
Both men are true warriors that never take a step backwards and throw leather like there’s no tomorrow. It remains to be seen if all the tough wars and punishment absorbed over the years will catch up with the 34 year old Katsidis. He has a lot of miles on the clock. However he may just have too much top level experience having faced the likes of Juan Diaz, Manuel Marquez, Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero for a man that is at the moment still a domestic level fighter with an incomparable resume.
Katsidis: W30 (KO24) L6 (KO2) 66.67KO%
Coyle: W19 (KO8) L2 (KO1) 38.1KO%