An Australian of Greek heritage, the 32 year old Katsidis is a former two-time Interim WBO Lightweight titleholder whose in-your-face, crowd-pleasing style is, to some, reminiscent of the late Arturo Gatti.
In an amateur career which began at the age of eleven, Katsidis earned a stellar 75–6 record and served on the Australian Olympic team in the lightweight division at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.
At one time, the Michael "The Great" Katsidis was a fighter with a bright future, winning his first 23 bouts. But, like Arturo Gatti, his technical limitations and athleticism would betray him against boxing's elite.
And while he was often good enough to give any elite fighter a stiff challenge, he wasn't quite stellar enough to flourish at the highest levels of the sport.
Katsidis, who has campaigned most of his career as a lightweight, has lost 4 of his last 5 bouts which includes a thrilling, action-packed brawl with Juan Manuel Marquez in 2010. Katsidis floored the fight legend in Round 3 and appeared to have Marquez hurt on more than one occasion but the resilient Mexican weathered the storm to stop the courageous Katsidis in the seventh.
In his most recent outing in April, Katsidis lost to little-known upstart Albert Mensah (then 24-3-1, 10 KO) via majority decision.
Despite not being able to crack the upper-echelon of the sport, Katsidis is known for being incredibly tough and determined, and is well-capable of upsetting any elite fighter who doesn't bring his 'A game.'
Ricky Hatton promised he'd fight only quality opponents on his comeback and would not consider unheralded journeymen.
So how does Katsidis rate?
He's probably the perfect first opponent.
Katsidis is a former champion with a respected name who is tough and exciting but probably too small (as a welterweight), too shopwarn and too technically limited to pose a heavy threat to Hatton. That stated, he's good enough to defeat the seemingly rusty Brit if taken too lightly.
If given the opportunity, expect the Australian to make the most of it. After all, a win over Ricky Hatton would certainly revitalize his fading career.
The 33 year-old Ricky Hatton, who hasn't fought in three years, will likely announce the first opponent his comeback trail within a week.
Michael Katsidis Facts
- Record: 28-6, 23 KO
- Height: 5'7"/170cm
- Reach 66"/168cm
- Has a 68% knockouts-to-fights ratio
- Defeated Graham Earl in 2007 to win the WBO interim Lightweight Title
- Was KO'd in 10 by Joel Casamayor in 2008
- Lost a split decision to Juan Diaz in 2008
- Defeated Vicente Escobedo (then 21-1) via split decision to recapture the WBO Interim Lightweight Title in 2009
- Stopped Kevin Mitchell (then 31-0) in three rounds in 2010
- Lost decisions to Robert Guerrero and Ricky Burns in 2011