By Craig Watt
Australian WBO interim lightweight champion Michael “The Great” Katsidis (26-2, 21 KO’s) today contacted Fightnews and issued a challenge to popular American Juan Diaz (35-3, 17 KO’s). The two exciting fighters met in September 2008 in Houston, Texas when the American, known as “Baby Bull” won a split decision over twelve rounds. The 29 year old Katsidis is growing increasingly frustrated at the failure of full WBO 135 pound champion Juan Manuel Marquez to ink a fight mandated by the WBO and now is chasing a match with Diaz who is ranked WBO #7, WBA #2 and IBF #4 at jr welterweight.
Katsidis told Fightnews, “Today I propose a challenge to to Juan Diaz -This is your lifeline. Lets us play who wants to be a millionaire. It is your turn to phone a friend- call Golden Boy and lets make this happen. Since our last fight I have regained the WBO lightweight championship of the world . There has been talk for a bout for me against Robert Guerrero , a junior lightweight with little interest to me and nothing to gain so instead I want a greater task with a personal meaning to Michael Katsidis. I propose to come Houston, Texas on the 27th of March and put everything I have gained on the line, including my WBO lightweight title. Juan this is your opportunity and I ask for a public response within the next 24 hours to show your willingness to accept this challenge. With confidence , I will come to Houston and and in front of 15,000 or more fans defend my title against you.”
Juan Diaz’ manager Willie Savannah responded to Katsidis’ challenge. “Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz will gladly accept the challenge of Micheal Katsidis for a rematch! Diaz has been impressed with Katsidis’ last couple of performances and feels like this would be a great fight! Let’s do it! Make it happen!”
On a side note, Diaz was honored in Houston today by a thousand dinner guests for his charity work for St Benedict Church.