By Rick Reeno
MGM Grand, Las Vegas - In another "Fight of The Year" contender, Robert Guerrero (29-1, 18KOs) won a very exciting twelve round unanimous decision over Michael Katsidis (27-4, 22KOs). The scores were 117-108, 118-106 and 118-107. Guerrero grabs the vacant interim-WBA/WBO lightweight titles.
The two boxers were guns blazing from the very first round. Guerrero got the better of the action with hard straight punches to back Katsidis up. In the second, Katsidis rocked Guerrero with a combo that nearly put him down. "The Ghost" stood his ground and went to war with a furious exchange of power punches between both boxers. They were trading some heavy punches in the third round. Both had their moments, but it was Guerrero who appeared to land the much crisper shots. In the fourth, Guerrero spent the first half of the round boxing as Katsidis was trying to find a way inside. The second of the fourth saw another exchange of power punches with Guerrero and Katsidis throwing, and landing, huge homerun shots.
Near the end of the fifth, Katsidis was rocked bad by a combination and Guerrero pressed forward with heavy, heavy punches. Katsidis was almost ready to go but he managed to hold himself together until the bell. Guerrero was landing a lot of leather in this round and the ref appeared to be a combination away from stopping the fight. Katsidis' face was a swollen mess and he was bleeding from a cut located underneath his left eye. The action was a little slower in the sixth and seventh rounds. Katsidis was pressing forward with punches, and many of them were missing their mark. Besides the miss ratio, Guerrero was catching him with punches to the head and body when he stepped inside.
Early in the eight round, Katsidis lost a point for a low blow. The two boxers were involved in a wild exchange that Katsidis was winning. The ref once again stopped the action and said Katsidis' punches were going too low, and took away another point. The point deduction even angered the very pro-Guerrero crowd. Katsidis went back on the attack and this time he was hurting Guerrero with shots to the body and followed them up with straight hooks to the head.
As they came out for the ninth, Katsidis' face was a wreck, and Guerrero was showing the wear and tear of the high contact fight. Near the end of the round, Guerrero lost a point for hitting on the break. Guerrero was the better boxer in the ninth, but it was Katsidis who came back strong with some accurate punching to back Guerrero up. Katsidis looked tired in the eleventh, which allowed Guerrero to dominate the majority of the three minutes with accurate punching and combinations to the head and body. The twelfth was almost a complete mirror image of the eleventh. Katsidis was unable to land the necessary punches, and Guerrero was picking him off with hooks and straight shots on the inside.