Dan Rafael: Albert Mensah

Michael Katsidis back in the ring

February, 4, 2014
Feb 4
2:04
PM ET
Michael KatsidisEthan Miller/Getty ImagesMichael Katsidis, left, will be back in the ring on March 14 for the first time in almost two years.
Like most all-action fighters, Michael Katsidis took a lot of punishment during a career in which he had some very memorable fights, won interim lightweight belts twice and faced some of boxing’s elite fighters.

He hasn’t fought since a majority decision loss to Albert Mensah in April 2012 in Las Vegas, Katsidis’ fourth loss in five fights. It seemed like the end.

But this is boxing. So when he announced in late December that he had reunited with longtime manager and trainer Brendon Smith and was planning a comeback, it didn’t come as much of a surprise.

Now the fight is even closer to reality as Katsidis (28-6, 23 KOs), 33, has an opponent for his March 14 return in his hometown of Toowoomba, Australia. Katsidis will face Eddy Comaro (27-17-5, 11 KOs), 27, of Indonesia, in a 10-round junior welterweight bout, Smith announced this week.

“Eddy Comaro is a strong fighter. He is very experienced, and having the opportunity to fight Michael gives him the chance to make himself a legend,” Smith said. “We expect him to be at 110 percent for this fight, but Michael will be ready for whatever comes his way.”

I’m not sure beating a faded Katsidis will make anyone a legend, but it would be a boost for Comaro, who has lost two fights in a row. Based on his record, he doesn’t look like he should be much of a problem for Katsidis, but the Australian has often made fights a lot harder than they needed to be.

“I’m really looking forward to getting back in the ring,” Katsidis said. “It has been eight years since I last fought in Toowoomba, and I am very excited to have this fight in my hometown in front of my friends and family. I know Eddy is a tough, strong and experienced fighter, but I am training hard and I will be ready to put on a great show and make it a successful night.”

During his heyday, Katsidis was a must-see fighter. In 2007 and 2008, he had three consecutive fight of the year contenders in interim lightweight title bouts -- winning a ridiculous slugfest with Graham Earl by fifth-round knockout in England, a bloody unanimous decision against Czar Amonsot in Las Vegas (in which Amonsot suffered a brain injury) and a 10th-round knockout loss to Joel Casamayor in a mayhem-filled bout in Cabazon, Calif.

There were other grueling fights also, such as a decision loss to Juan Diaz and a ninth-round knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez, whom Katsidis dropped hard and nearly knocked out in their 2010 battle.

Katsidis planning comeback

January, 3, 2014
Jan 3
10:44
AM ET
Perhaps it’s not the best idea ever, but Michael Katsidis, one of the most exciting action fighters of the past 20 years, is making a comeback.

Katsidis, the former longtime lightweight contender (and former interim titlist), has reunited with longtime trainer and manager Brendon Smith, whom he split with two years ago, for the return.

Smith announced that he and Katsidis, 33, signed a two-year deal on Christmas Eve. The plan, Smith said, is for Katsidis to be back in the ring in March.

Australia’s Katsidis (28-6, 23 KOs) has lost four of his past five fights and not fought since a 10-round majority decision loss to Albert Mensah in an ESPN2 junior welterweight main event in April 2012.

But during his heyday, Katsidis was as exciting as any fighter in the business. In 2007 and 2008, he had three consecutive fight-of-the-year contenders in interim lightweight title bouts. He won a ridiculous slugfest with Graham Earl by fifth-round knockout in England; a bloody unanimous decision against Czar Amonsot in Las Vegas (in which Amonsot suffered a brain injury); and a 10th-round knockout loss to Joel Casamayor in a mayhem-filled bout in Cabazon, Calif.

There were other grueling fights also, such as a decision loss to Juan Diaz and a ninth-round knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez, whom he dropped hard and nearly knocked out in their 2009 battle.

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