Tauranga's Anthony 'T'n'T' Taylor will make his first WBU World title defence, against two time Interim WBO world champion Michael Katsidis in April 2016 at The Trust Arena.
The 28-year-old boxer won the vacant WBU World Super Lightweight title last August against Australian and recently retired boxer Darren Askew. After being knocked down several times and receiving broken ribs, Taylor came back and won the bout by Technical Knockout in the twelfth round.
Katsidis is a well credentialed boxer who has many achievements in his career from representing Australia in the 2000 Summer Olympics to winning multiple World titles. Katsidis won his first major world title in 2007 against someone that'sGraham Earl for the interim WBO World lightweight title. Katsidis won his second major world title in 2009 against Vicente Escobedo for the same title. This will be the second attempted for Katsidis to capture the WBU Super lightweight Title. Katsidis won the first attempted last year against former rival Graham Earl, however later vacated the title due to not defending the title.
Royal Rampage promoter Lisa Lewis said “I am excited and proud as Promoter of Royal Rampage, that I have been given the opportunity to put on this world title fight and bring Michael Katsidis and his camp from Australia to New Zealand as a Pro Boxer - giving fans this show, and giving the kid from Tauranga: Anthony TNT Taylor such an experience and opportunity to get in the ring and fight with had opponents like Juan Manuel Marquez and represent New Zealand like this. I believe this fight will make history.”
Taylor’s team originally planned to try get a fight against IBO Asia Pacific Champion and Hamilton native Cairo George. Unfortunately George's team refused to negotiated. Royal Rampage promotions tried to spark interest in late october saying “Would love to make this happen & promote at Royal Rampage Promotions. Cairo The Waikato Warrior George vs. Anthony TNT Taylor (Tauranga).”. George retaliated with this to say on Facebook “Some people just never learn lol stop. Name dropping to hype your dum event already and go back to doing what everyone knows you're good at hehe…. Have to laugh when I see people using my name to promote their event. People wanna mention and talk about me in their adverts at least let a brother know lol.”
The events card will also have the first ever World title bout on New Zealand Soil from one of the major four boxing sanctioning bodies making it New Zealand History. The event card will also feature nine pro bouts and three corporate belts, including seven world champion boxers.