By Craig Watt
Although middleweight Anthony Mundine secured the mandatory challenger position with the WBA following his unanimous points win over Shannan Taylor in New South Wales recently, it appears he will have to wait until later in 2009 for his desired challenge to WBA champion Felix Sturm. It has been announced that Sturm will first make a voluntary defence against Japan’s Koji Sato in April. The former two-time WBA super-middleweight champion from Sydney is adamant his future is at middleweight, although recently fellow Australian Danny Green has called him out for a re-match of their 2006 fight at light-heavyweight. The 35 year old stated this week, “My priority is to win a world title at middleweight and Danny Green can wait his turn. Green is waiting their in my pocket and I can whip his ass whenever I want but my aim is to unify the world middleweight division. That is my priority.”
Returning to Australia the WBA, WBC and IBF super flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan confirmed he intended to move up to bantamweight after he retained his titles with an eleventh round stoppage of Mexican Jorge Arce in Los Angeles on February 2nd. He is bidding to become only the second Australian after Jeff Fenech to win world titles in three divisions. He stated this week on Fox Sports News in Australia, “I want to be champion in three weight divisions, four, five, I don’t want to go to bantamweight and stop, I want to be the best pound for pound fighter in world boxing. Pacquaio is ten kilos heavier than me so that fight does not make sense at the moment. He is the pound for pound champion but one day that is my goal.” It is reported in Australia that Darchinyan’s manager, Elias Nassar is looking at a match up with WBC bantamweight champion Hozumi Hasegwa or Ghana’s IBF champion Joseph Agbeko. A further possibility if Darchinyan remains at super-flyweight is a match with Mexican WBO champion Fernando Montiel.
It was expected that former WBO lightweight champion Michael Katsidis would have his next fight in Australia with a “homecoming” fight in Queensland planned but manager Brendon Smith confirmed this week it would likely be another return to the US for his next bout. It has been announced this week that Katsidis will take on Jesus Chavez in a WBO eliminator in Texas on April 4th. He stated, “This is our home and ideally Michael wants to come home and fight here in Queensland but it is a matter of timing and this is a great opportunity that could lead him back to the WBO title and is also a major show that will have a wolrdwide television audience. It is a great offer and we must take it to push Michael back into the championship picture again at lightweight.”