By Lem Satterfield
About three weeks ago, former WBO interim lightweight king, Michael Katsidis, of Australia suffered what he considered to be "a small cut" over his right eye.
But there was no way that the 30-year-old Katsidis (27-3, 22 knockouts) was going to let something like that stand in the way of his scheduled April 9 clash with southpaw, 27-year-old former world titlist, Robert Guerrero (28-1-1, 18 KOs).
"What? A cut? It was an issue, but it's not now. If I didn't take the fight based on a cut, I wouldn't sleep at night. A cut's nothing. It's just a cut. It depends on the person. Some people get a small cut and they don't want to fight," said Katsidis, his assertions coming amid Tuesday's national conference call touting his bout with Guerrero, a former two-time IBF featherweight and one-time IBF super featherweight titlist.
"But if you're talking about me, I'll fight the best. That's what I want to do. Nothing's going stop me from doing that," said Katsidis. "But it's not rediculous. I mean, I'm not going to go into a fight with a big cut, but a small cut? Nothing's going to stop me like that. It didn't even count. You wouldn't even think that I've been cut."
Guerrero-Katsidis is an under card bout to the main event featuring 34-year-old, three-division king, Erik Morales (51-6, 35 KOs) and 27-year-old former WBA junior welterweight champion Marcos Rene Maidana (29-2, 27 KOs).
It appears that the Guerrero-Katsidis winner could be sanctioned as the mandatory challenger to the crowns worn by 37-year-old, WBA and WBO champion, Juan Manuel Marquez (52-5-1, 38 KOs), who rose from a third-round knockdown to score November's ninth-round stoppage of Katsidis.
Asked why he would go from one difficult title fight directly into another, Katsidis' response was, "Why not?"
"It's for a world title, and that's what you're in the game for. You want to achieve as much as you can," said Katsidis. "When the opportunity is there, you take it. It's definitely what I do. I fight. This is my job. This is my living. It's as simple as that."
The cut, said Katsidis, occurred during training, after which Golden Boy Promotions CEO, Richard Schafer, had the injury examined by a doctor.
"When we heard about it, we wanted to make sure that he was cleared to fight. Michael went to the doctor and he got the necessary documents. So it doesn't really matter. That''s the kind of warrior he is. He's not going to let a little cut slow him down," said Schaefer.
"Michael has gotten it stitched up. He provided all of the medical evidence and was cleared to train and spar and he's ready to go," said Schaefer. "And so that that let him know that he was okay to fight and okay to train. For some people, a small cut might look like a big cut. But not for Michael Katsidis."
Katsidis is, after all, the same man who battled Marquez despite the death of his 31-year-old brother, Stathi Katsidis, a top thoroughbred horse jockey in Australia, who was found dead in mid-October in his Brisbane, Australia, home.
"You just have to dig deep. I have a belief that if something doesn't kill you, then it makes you stronger. This is one of those things," said Katsidis.
"If we could work through that camp, as we did for the Marquez one, then it's a helluva lot better working through this camp. And this time, there has been no problems," said Katsidis. "Everything is going very, very well in those regards. But you just really have to dig deep inside, and I'm more the better for it."
Katsidis had won four straight bouts entering his match up with Marquez, and was coming off of May's stunning, third-round knockout of England's Kevin Mitchell.
Mitchell had entered their match up with a mark of 31-0 that included 23 knockouts as well as a decision win over Breidis Prescott, who is the only man to defeat WBA junior welterweight titlist Amir Khan (24-1, 17 KOs), doing so by first-round stoppage.
Prior to his winning streak, Katsidis had suffered consecutive stoppage losses to former world champions Joel Casamayor and Juan Diaz by 10th-round knockout and 12-round split-decision, respectively, in March and September of 2008.
So as far as coming back, Katsidis wasn't going to allow a cut over his eye to be a problem.
"On the night of the fight, I will be circling to my left," said Katsidis. "Just put it that way."