Alan Dawson – London
Ricky Burns is the man to end the run of ‘Brit Basher’ Michael Katsidis; 2-0-0, 2ko record against UK pugilists as he is “fresher” and, providing he boxes and does not stand and trade with the fist-swinging brawler from Australia, then he can emerge with a points victory. That is the opinion of future welterweight star Bradley Skeete, who fights on the undercard of Burns and Katsidis’ WBO interim lightweight title clash on November 5 at Wembley Arena in London.
Katsidis (28-4-0, 23ko) commands a considerable profile within Britain as he has twice come to the UK and trounced British boxers. His first successful trip was in 2007, the first time he had fought on foreign canvas, and he did so in scintillating fashion as both fighters exchanged knockdowns yet it was Michael ‘The Great’ who emerged with the fifth round technical knockout victory.
Three years later, Katsidis returned to Britain but one-upped his previous performance by blasting Kevin Mitchell away in just three one-sided rounds. And now, one year on from Katsidis’ 2010 trumping of the Dagenham Destroyer in Mitchell’s home town stadium – the Boleyn Ground – Michael is back to challenge Burns (32-2-0, 9ko) for the vacant WBO belt.
For Skeete, a 24-year-old fast-rising welterweight from south London who takes on Jay Morris on the undercard, it will be third time lucky for the British as Burns can out-box Katsidis. He exclusively told On The Beak this week: “I think if Ricky sticks to his boxing and keeps it long and doesn’t get involved in a tear up he will win on points.”
A potential byproduct of Katsidis’ all-out slugging style is the eventual wear-and-tear from his war-like displays. Against Earl, Juan Diaz, Joel Casamayor, Juan Manuel Marquez and also Robert Guerrero he took great punishment. Burns, conversely, entered his hardest fight when he took on consensus number one super featherweight at the time – Rocky Roman Martinez – in 2010 and left the ring in Scotland with the Puerto Rican’s WBO world title.
His three subsequent defences were rather straight-forward for the resilient fighter and Katsidis no doubt represents his toughest fight since Martinez, however, Skeete (4-0-0, 1ko) believes this will play into the advantage of Burns: “I think Katsidis has been in too many hard fights so Ricky is the fresher of the two,” he concluded.