By Craig Watt
Former WBO lightweight champion Michael Katsidis (24-2, 20 KO’s) has used Thailand as his training base to start his preparation for his April 4th bout with Jesus Chavez (44-4, 30 KO’s) and has expressed an interest in fighting Juan Manuel Marquez should he be victorious over Chavez next month. He told the Toowoomba Chronicle, “I think there are things there with him I could exploit. He’s not that good at coming forward and he’s a counter fighter. I can play the waiting game and I feel I’d actually be suited to someone like Maquez.” Katsidis heads to the US on March 14th to complete his final preparations for the April 4th bout with the former WBC super-featherweight and IBF featherweight champion.
Elias Nassar, manager of undisputed super flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan has opened negotiations for his next world title challenge after the WBC, WBA and IBF champion recovered from 10 stitches in his right eyebrow. The stitches came in his exciting win against Mexican Jorge Arce in Los Angeles in February and Nassar told the Sydney Telegraph he wanted to see the results of the injury, prior to opening negotiations.
” I held off because I just wanted to make sure Vic’s cut had healed properly, I didn’t want to start negotiations and jeopardise his career by putting him into a fight early,” Nassar said. “he cut has healed properly and I started negotiations this week.” Nassar confirmed he was talking to the connections of Panama’s WBA bantamweight world champion Anselmo Moreno and Ghana’s New York-based IBF bantamweight title holder Joseph Agbeko.
IBF#14 featherweight Billy Dib (23-1, 11KO’s) returns to the ring following his unsuccessful challenge to Steve Luevano for the WBO title in October 2008, taking on unbeaten Davey Browne (15-0-1, 4KO’s) in Sydney on March 11th. This is an exciting clash of two of Australia’s most promising Featherweights and is pencilled for the interim World Youth Featherweight Title and the IBF Pan Pacific Youth Title.
The 23 year old Dib has boxed in higher class and won the IBO Featherweight Title in July 2008 with a unanimous twelve round decision over Zolani Marali when he rose off the canvas in the third round to win by decision. He has since been stripped of the IBO title but is considered one of Australia’s brightest boxing prospects.This should prove to be one of Australia’s most exciting fights of 2009.
Also on the card at the Cube in Sydney is the eagerly anticipated bout between unbeaten prospect Lenny Zappavigna (17-0, 13 KO’s) defending his IBF Pan Pacific light welterweight title over 12 rounds against the former I.B.F and I.B.O. Super featherweight World Champion Gairy St Clair (41-8-2, 18 KO’s). The 34 year old St Clair has fought the likes of Cassius Baloyi, Malcom Klassen and Amir Khan and should provide an interesting benchmark of the potential of Zappavigna, who is seen by many as a future world champion.
Former WBC Flyweight challenger Hussein Hussein’s return to the ring in 2009 had to be postponed last week at the last minute. The 33 year old Hussein (31-5, 24 KO’s) from Sydney was due to return to the ring on Friday 27th February in Campsie, New South Wales but his opponent Dedy Ronald from Indonesia was ruled out just hours before the bout when it was revealed he had Hepetatis B. The fight was promoted as the main event for the WBO Oriental Super-Flyweight title over 12 rounds at the Orion Function Centre but was cancelled as a consequence of the medical discovery. A new opponent is now sought for the title fight, pencilled in for March 20th. This was Hussein’s first planned fight since his points loss to Moruti Mthalane in July 2008 in a eliminator for the IBF Flyweight Title. He has enjoyed an exciting career and has been one of Australia’s most exciting fighters in recent years.