By Jake Donovan
The only thing that came of Graham Earl's ill-advised comeback was that he was able to go the distance against an old adversary.
Lastintg the full 12 rounds only meant 36 full minutes of punishment, as Earl was routed by Michael Katsidis in their rematch Friday in Toowoomba, Australia.
Scores were 120-109, 120-108 and 119-109 in favor of Katsidis, who scored a far more meaningful stoppage win over Earl in their thrilling first fight seven years ago.
Neither fighter really has any business being in the ring at this stage of their careers, and both were thought to have been done with the game. Katsidis stepped away in 2012 following back-to-back losses to Ricky Burns and Albert Mensah, but returned to the ring earlier this year.
With that came the brainstorm to have Earl, retired since 2009, come back for one more fight.
Earl was battered throughout the contest, cut over his left eye in round four and nearly knocked out of the ring late in the fight. The Brit managed to stay on his feet for all 12 rounds, which perhaps detracts from Katsidis' repeat win over his foe, although the 33-year old Aussie never had aspirations of this latest comeback extending very far.
The feat gives Katsidis his second straight win since returning earlier this year, as his record advances to 30-6 (24KOs). It's unlikely that he ever lands another title fight, having fallen short to Joel Casamayor (his first loss, in March '08) and Juan Manuel Marquez (Nov. '10) in separate failed title bids, though he served as one of the most exciting fighters of his generation.
Earl falls to 26-5 (12KOs), including four losses in a five-fight stretch dating back to his 5th round stoppage versus Katsidis more than seven years ago.
The bout streamed live on LiveBoxing.com.au
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox