Former lightweight world champion Michael Katsidis has returned to Australia, setting up camp in his hometown of Toowoomba, Queensland. Despite back-to-back losses to the two men regarded as the best in the lightweight division, Juan Manuel Marquez and Robert Guerrero, the options for crowd-favorite Katsidis were many. However, he recently turned down the chance to fight in Las Vegas on July 30 where it was anticipated he would face Mexican great Erik Morales. But Katsidis said this week his focus was to lock in a date to fight in Australia, something he has not done since June 2006.
“My last 10 fights have been overseas and I think now is the time for me to come back to Australia and bring and bring an international opponent into my country,” Katsidis said. “This is something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time, but until now, the timing just hasn’t been right. It’s been a tough six months for me personally and I feel it is really important to come home and fight.”
Katsidis’ trainer-manager Brendon Smith said he was happy to accommodate his fighter’s request to fight in Australia and the search for an appropriate venue for a fight in late July or early August was now on in earnest. “I agree with Michael that now is the time to fight in Australia. He has a huge support base all over the world, but the people of Australia haven’t had the opportunity to see him in action for a long time,” Smith said. “Where the fight will be is still uncertain, but we will look at a number of options and a number of quality opponents and see what fits best.”
Smith said Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Katsidis’ hometown of Toowoomba all remained options for the fight.