By Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com was advised by Sampson Lewkowicz, that WBO interim-lightweight champion Michael Katsidis will indeed be ringside on July 31 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, when WBA/WBO champion Juan Manuel Marquez defends his lightweight titles in a rematch with Juan Diaz.
Katsidis, along with his adviser Lewkowicz, and manager/trainer Brendon Smith, will be heading to the show. The WBO has ordered the winner of Marquez-Diaz to fight Katsidis next. If the winner refuses, they will be stripped of the WBO title and Katsidis will become the full champion.
WBA junior welterweight champion Amir Khan will also be ringside. The Marquez-Diaz winner is the frontrunner to fight Khan in December. If Diaz wins, he already made it clear to BoxingScene last week that he will refuse any offer to move up in weight for a fight with Khan. Win or lose, Diaz plans to remain at lightweight.
Marquez, the big favorite in the rematch, is also the favorite to fight Khan in December - but not if Katsidis has anything to say about that.
"Amir Khan or no Amir Khan, Michael Katsidis will be at the fight in Las Vegas to challenge the winner. Katsidis has been waiting for his shot at the WBO title. He beat Escobedo last September to win the interim title and then he knocked out the WBO's number one contender Kevin Mitchell. If Amir Khan wants to fight the winner, he has to wait until after Katsidis gets done with them. If the winner makes a deal to fight Khan, we are going to ask the WBO to strip them," Lewkowicz told BoxingScene.com.