By Phil D. Jay
Aussie hardman Michael Katsidis is growing frustrated in his search for a top name opponent for his planned return to Australia. The 30 year-old last fought on home soil in Brisbane, Queensland in June 2006, knocking out Jakkirt Suwunnalirt in two rounds and is set to return after two straight defeats in Las Vegas.
The Toowoomba fighter’s reputation is still as strong as ever in the States and around the world for that matter, but Katsidis (27-4, 22 KO’s) feels that it is time to give the home fans a chance to see him in action after his two action packed bout at the MGM Grand against Juan Manuel Marquez and Robert Guerrero.
One opponent touted to make the journey to Oceanic shores was IBF champion Miguel Vasquez, who has recently renewed his contract with Zanfer for another three-years. Katsidis’ trainer Brendon Smith told The Australian Herald Sun that the Mexican champion turned down the bout in a row over money.
"The response was an expected one from the team," said Smith.
"'We don't believe Australia can afford our guy' was the basis of their response.
"Maybe they should check the Aussie dollar versus the US, before ruling the fight out on the basis of money.
"We know and they know Michael is a dangerous fight, and we believe that is closer to the reason they won't come down under."
Title options seem to be fast running out for Katsidis’ team, with WBC champion Humberto Soto tied to a defence against Motoki Sasaki on June 25th and the WBA and WBO titles that “The Great” fought for in 2010 against Marquez out of commission after “Dinamita” signed on to fight Manny Pacquiao.
It remains unclear whether the decision by Marquez, 37, to move up face Pacquiao at a catchweight of 144lbs will, in turn, force him to hand the titles to interim champion Robert Guerrero. 28 year-old Guerrero unanimously out-pointed Katsidis in April and is though to want a bout with Amir Khan, which may eventually leave the WBO and WBA titles vacant for Katsidis to stake his claim for a shot.
Phil D. Jay covers the boxing scene for worldboxingnews.net