- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Australian junior welterweight Michael Katsidis, who announced his plans for a return to the ring two weeks ago, now has an opponent, date and site.
He will fight Kaewfah Tor Buamas in a scheduled 10-round bout for a regional belt on Sept. 12 at Yu Hang Gymnasium in Hangzhou, China.
"What a great sport boxing is," Katsidis said. "It's given me so much and now once again I have an opportunity of a lifetime. I get to return to the ring.”
Katsidis, one of boxing’s most exciting action fighters during his 2007 to 2010 lightweight heyday, has been on a severe decline in recent years. After getting knocked out by Tommy Coyle in the second round in England in October he returned for what was supposed to be a farewell win in March, a six-round decision against unheralded Rodynie Rafol. But Katsidis (31-7, 24 KOs), 34, decided to fight on.
"It's an honor to have Michael Katsidis fight on this card,” promoter Liu Gang said. “Michael is a worldwide name and to have him fight in China with a full gymnasium and a TV audience. I met Michael on my recent trip to Toowoomba (Australia) and he looked in great shape, so I know he will be a crowd pleaser over here.”
Tor Buamas (19-0, 13 KOs), 29, of Thailand, has a glossy record but it has been built against woeful opposition. Of his 19 opponents, 12 were making their pro debuts and only one of his foes had a winning record. His last four opponents entered the ring with records of 6-19-2, 18-27-1, 5-3-1 and 0-8-1.
Clearly, Katsidis is being matched softly, and with good reason.
“If I don't win, that's life,” Katsidis said. “It won't change the person I have become since returning to Toowoomba," Katsidis said.
Katsidis made his name with some classic battles against Graham Earl in an all-time action fight, Czar Amonsot, Joel Casamayor, Juan Diaz, Jesus Chavez and Juan Manuel Marquez.