By Craig Watt
Australian boxer Michael Katsidis (24-2, 20 KO’s) secured the vacant WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight Title at the Cebu Coliseum, Cebu City in the Philippines tonight with a laboured ten round points win over Argentinean Angel Hugo Ramirez (19-5-2, 8 KO’s). The 28 year-old Aussie from Toowoomba, Queensland, dominated the bout from the first bell as Ramirez seemed not to want to engage in any action and kept running on the retreat for most of the bout. Katsidis stalked forward and dropped the Argentinean, now fighting out of Spain, four times in the first five rounds, with Ramirez hitting the canvas three times in the fourth round. Most of the knockdowns came from body shots and the advancing Katsidis caught the retreating Ramirez periodically on the ropes.
The former WBO interim champion seemed to run out of ideas after the fourth and disappointed for the rest of the fight, seeming to settle for a points win, with Ramirez failing to throw more than ten punches in any round. Referee Bruce McTavish warned both fighters in the sixth round as neither fighter seemed to engage in any action. Katsidis was watched on by over 3,000 Philipino boxing fans who have made the former WBO interim lightweight champion one of their favourite fighters. In the land of boxing hero Manny Pacquaio, Katsidis has become a new friend because of his reputed all action style, seen many times before. However, despite the wide scoreline on the judges cards of 98-87 and 96-89 twice he failed to impress on his first return in 2009. Tactically, after failing to stop the opponent in the fourth the fight petered out compared to most exciting fights “Katsidis The Great” has been involved in. Ramirez was intent not to engage in any sustained action and Katsidis appeared frustrated by the approach of the retreating opponent.
The win was crucial to Katsidis who had suffered two bruising defeats in 2008 to Cuban veteran Joel Casamayor and Mexican Juan Diaz. This was his first fight since his September 2008 loss to Diaz and he looked under-par in his performance, especially after dropping the opponent four times in the first four rounds. The win now sets up an match with former IBF Lightweight Champion and current IBF#4 ranked Julio Diaz later in April, in California USA. The win could enhance Katsidis current WBO#6 ranking at 135 pounds and help set up further meaningful match ups at lightweight, but the second half performance was disappointing given the positive start to the fight. However, in a boxing cliché, it takes two to make an exciting fight and Ramirez was intent on surviving, rather than winning which made for the disappointing contest. The fight was promoted as, “The War” but failed to live up to the expectant crowd and PPV audience.
In the main supporting bout WBO#11 ranked Jr-lightweight Anthony Marcial of the Phillipines extended his unbeaten record to 12-0 with a first round destruction of Vacharakrit Senahan from Thailand. Both fighters entered the ring with an unbeaten 11-0 record but Marcial seemed to be operating in a higher class and seemed to land heavy overhand rights at will. The Philippino prospect landed several heavy shots early in the bout and dropped Senahan inside the first minute with the referee calling a halt at 1.58 of the opening round. In defeating Senahan, the local fighter known as “Rocky” retained his WBO Oriental Jr-lightweight title and now has 11 stoppage wins in his unbeaten record of 12-0.
In the opening bout Marvin Sonsona of the Phillipines extended his unbeaten record to 11-0 with ten stoppages when he stopped Liempetch Sor Veerapol from Thailand (12-5, 8 KO’s) in the fourth round. The classy southpaw dominated the bout with effective boxing and retained his WBO Asia Pacific Youth flyweight title at 44 seconds of the fourth round when the referee stopped the bout after a steady assault by the Pilipino champion.
In the fourth regional WBO title fight of the night, unbeaten Pilipino super-bantamweight Ciso Morales extended his unbeaten record to 13-0 with a fifth round stoppage of Pichitchok Singmanassak from Thailand (10-9,6 KO’s) and retained his WBO Oriental super bantamweight title. This was Morales’s seventh stoppage win and came at 2.59 of the fifth round when after dropping Singmanassak with a straight right at 2.30 of the round he followed up with twenty unanswered shots that forced the referee to stop the fight. This win made it a 3-0 Philippines V Thailand fighters in the evenings proceedings of the regional WBO titles, which was well received by the local fight fans in Cebu City, Philippines.
The boxing night was promoted by SCC Promotions.