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Q&A with michael katsidis
Going into the Lion’s den is nothing new for Michael “The Great” Katsidis, it’s something he enjoys doing, it brings out the best in him. Recently that was very much the case when he defended his WBO Interim Lightweight crown against Britain’s highly thought of Kevin Mitchell in front of thousands of raucous fans at Upton Park home of Mitchell’s beloved West Ham soccer club. Katsidis 29, entered the ring as very much public enemy number one. That never bothered the battle tested Australian of Greek descent. For the first few rounds Katsidis took a look at what Mitchell had to offer before exploding early in the third, hurting Mitchell. Despite Mitchell valiantly trying to last the round he wasn’t able to as Katsidis got the stoppage and arguably his best win to date. After the impressive victory Katsidis hoped it would propel him into a Big summer fight with Amir Khan, up 5 pounds at Light Welterweight, however that never came to fruition. Now Katsidis has shifted his gaze to this summer’s Juan Manuel Marquez-Juan Diaz 2, he hope’s to fight the winner later this year.
Hello Michael, welcome back to 15rounds.com
Anson Wainwright - Firstly congratulations on a tremendous win against Kevin Mitchell, how do you look back on that fight and how highly do you rate your performance?
Michael Katsidis - I rate the performance to where we were at in my training. I was stopping guys during sparring accidentally whereas in the past I had trouble with he same people. It just goes to show the hard work paid off and as expected we got the result on the night. I was prepared to fight hard for 12 rounds though I knew at some point Mitchell was bound to come on to one of my shots as I felt I had improved my power better than it was before.
Anson Wainwright - Apparently you had a really tough training camp in Thailand, can you tell us about this. How long were you there? What sort of things did you do during your stay?
Michael Katsidis - We did a lot of what we have always done. Basically I entered rugged tough training camps in Thailand after I has my first loss. I knew these were fights I believe didn’t show nearly my full potential. My career needed a rebirth and the only way I could do this was by isolating myself away from the luxury’s that most face in everyday lifestyle living in America. What we worked on there was very simple repetitious and hard. As it should be doing what we always did best.
Anson Wainwright - Can you tell us about the occasion, how were you treated in London? What did you think of Upton Park and the atmosphere?
Michael Katsidis - In the lead up to the weigh in everything that went on was like back ground noise to me. Everything we had worked on over the hard 3 months sacrifice of being away from my wife and new baby daughter was about to pay it’s dividend. I made weight easily and stepped out to the arena then with one breath of fresh air everything around me had come to life, the wide open space of a 40,000 plus venue began one of the most thrilling rides of my life. From that moment to the time the referee waved the fight off was pure bliss. I want to go again! The people, love me or hate me, So many people so passionate about the sport. I love in one arena, something to remember indeed.
Anson Wainwright - Have you been able to go back to Australia because of the Volcano which disrupted everything in Europe?What are your thoughts on the Volcano?
Michael Katsidis - “I might not get to go home because of the volcanoes”. I couldn’t believe what I was saying after the fight. All this time and then the airports about to shut down due to volcanic eruptions. Incidentally at the same time there was news of extreme violence in Thailand where there was an official warning given to most tourists intending on landing in Bangkok. I wasn’t going to let this get the better of me. The morning after the fight I booked my flight direct to Japan to pick up my wife and daughter. 3 hours later the airports had closed. Fortunately the rest of team Katsidis had a safe return also.
Anson Wainwright - It was reported that your one of the leading contenders to fight Amir Khan in late July early August possibly in England again. Obviously that never worked out what are your thoughts on that possible fight and can you tell us had you been contacted regarding that fight?
Michael Katsidis - I believe there was discussion. But nothing serious was ever put to me about this. This is a great fight for England and if Amir wants to make a statement that fight is the one. Obviously Amir Khan’s camp isn’t serious about making that statement as yet. He’s a great fighter and has many great fights to come, this may become a reality. Well, the idea of it sounds great at least.
Anson Wainwright - Will it be a problem to fight up at 140? You seem a natural 135 where you are very strong would you not lose some of your advantages going up in weight?
Michael Katsidis - Of course Lightweight is my division. Others adapt differently, are more versatile. I can only comment on what I know works. I’m not a 140 fighter as yet. I will cross that bridge when it comes though I do know I will become one very strong wrecking ball making way, that I am sure of. Perhaps I will be better though, I am yet to have difficulty at my current weight.
Anson Wainwright - Where do you stand with regards your next fight?
Michael Katsidis - Normally I would have been preparing for my next bout though Paco of the WBO has ordered me to stand aside to fight the winner of the Diaz Marquez fight July 31st. As much as I would have loved to have been working on another great fight in England or the States I believe in the WBO and the wait will be worth it. for both myself and the fans of the sport.
Anson Wainwright - Since the Mitchell fight what sort of reaction have you got from fans where you’ve been?
Michael Katsidis - In England every cab driver or store attendant and people at the airport were stopping me to congratulate me on my efforts. From that to landing in Japan picking up my family then heading to my desert home out at Vegas I can honestly say I haven’t been around it. Being with my family has been day after day in paradise and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Anson Wainwright - Is there anyone you’d like to mention who helped you with preparations for the Mitchell fight?
Michael Katsidis - My family, my wife Kumi baby Kalia Brendon, Kerry, Noah and Tanner. My sparring partners Nestor Rocha, Brandon ‘Bone crusher’ Smith and of course the WBO.
Anson Wainwright - Finally what message do you have for your fans?
Michael Katsidis - Don’t die wondering.
Thanks for your time Michael, keep entertaining us.
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