Boxing/MMA

Boxing Preview: Juan Manuel Marquez vs Michael Katsidis

| by Ian Palmer

There’s a lot to choose from for boxing fans on Nov. 27, with Showtime broadcasting a couple of super middleweight title fights and HBO showing a good tripleheader. HBO features WBO lightweight and WBA Super World lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez (51-5-1, 37 KOs) of Mexico taking on Australia's Michael Katsidis (27-2, 22KOs) in Las Vegas.

The card also features unbeaten WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto (26-0, 20 Kos) taking on top contender Freddy Hernandez (29-1, 20 KOs), as well as Jr. lightweight Celestine Caballero facing Jason Litzau.

Marquez beat Juan Diaz in July and Katsidis has four wins in a row since losing to Diaz. His other loss was against Joel Casamayor. This is a huge fight for Marquez if he hopes to get a third fight with Manny Pacquiao. Marquez has a draw and a split-decision loss to Pac-Man in two close fights and a third bout could be in the cards if he gets by Katsidis, which most experts figure he should do, in an action-packed fight.

Katsidis will be fighting with a heavy heart because his older brother Stathi died in October. The 31-year-old athlete was a popular thoroughbred jockey. Katsidis’ decision to carry on with the fight was praised by Marquez, who said he respects him greatly and wished his family the best after the tragic event.

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Marquez may be getting a little long in the tooth at 37, but he’s still in great shape and has a lot to offer the sport. If Katsidis leaves himself open, the Mexican is sure to hurt him with his precise counterpunches. However, Katsidis could keep Marquez off balance if he’s relentless in his attack and doesn’t slow down the pace.

Katsidis has a chance here as Marquez has been through several wars in his career and if the younger fighter can smother him and keep him out of his ryhtyhm, as well as display a strong chin, there’s an opportunity for him to take a decision.

Berto has just about everything going his way in the bout against Hernandez, except for height since he’s three inches shorter than the challenger. But when it comes to boxing skills and speed, he’s quite a bit better all round. Hernandez doesn’t have the one-punch knockout power to KO the champion and it’s highly doubtful that he’ll be able to outbox him. Still, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance for him and he could make things interesting if he hangs around into the later roinds and Berto starts to tire.

The Caballero (34-2, 23 KOs) vs Litzau (27-2, 21 KOs) fight is a 10-round Jr. lightweight clash between former IBF super bantamweight champ Caballero of Panama and Litzau of America. The 27-year-old Litzau had a great amateur career, but hasn’t really fought anybody of note as a pro other than Robert Guerrero and Jose Hernandez, and he lost both of those bouts. However, he’s won four in a row and won the NABF lightweight and junior lightweight belts along the way.

He did manage to beat Rocky Juarez in a seven-round technical decision. Caballero is moving up in weight here and he’s 34 years old. That could negate his superior power and skills, but look for him to take this fight by KO or unanimous decision. You can wager on most top boxing matches at 5dimes.com and the greek.com.