By Phil D. Jay
Michael Katsidis and Brendon Smith have parted ways after a twenty-year association in which the pair claimed two WBO interim world lightweight titles, competed in the Olympics and fought around the world with great success.
Smith, who trained and managed Katsidis since he was eleven year-old, believes the relationship came to a natural end following the defeat to Ricky Burns at Wembley Arena earlier this month and will move on to pastures new following the amicable split.
"I'm very proud in playing a major role in working with Michael in helping him achieve not only one world title but two, and helping him defend those titles in the world (boxing) capital of Vegas," Smith told thechronicle.com.au.
"What an incredible journey we had. It's been a wonderful, tough and enjoyable journey. All good things do come to an end."
Katsidis, 31, is now set to base himself in the United States for the remainder of his boxing career and has already had contact from Oscar De La Hoya about joining him at Golden Boy Promotions next year.
"It was one of the hardest decisions of my life (to leave Smith)," explained Katsidis.
"I first walked in to his tin shed, when it didn't even have a roof, when I was 11 years old.
"For the best part of 20 years we've worked together and we've gone as far as we can go now," he added.
"We've been through everything and the main thing I wanted to get out now I'm ready to comment and the main thing I would say is if anyone wants to get a world title, Brendon is the bloke."
‘The Great’ has built up a reputation as an all-action fighter and there will be promoters queuing up to take on the rugged Aussie - with De La Hoya making a shrewd move to get in their first as Katsidis still has plenty to offer the boxing world.
Phil D. Jay covers the boxing scene for worldboxingnews.net