Juan Manuel Marquez picked himself off the canvas to stop brave Australian challenger Michael Katsidis and successfully defend his WBO and WBA lightweight titles at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Marquez, 37, laid siege to “The Great” in the ninth round, raining down unanswered blows until referee Kenny Bayless had no other option but to call a halt to proceedings and save Katsidis from further punishment.
Katsidis had started well in the opening rounds and caught the unified champion with a sweet left hand to put him on the floor in the third round, but Marquez showed all his class and experience to get up and finish the round the stronger of the two.
“Dinamita” recorded his 52nd victory in his 58th outing (38th KO) and now hopes to lure Filipino legend Manny Pacquaio into the ring for what would be their third fight after a draw in 2004 and a close split decision win for Pacquiao four years later.
With all of Floyd Mayweather’s well documented problems, a fight with Pacquiao seems a million miles away right now, so it does makes sense to get the third fight made with Marquez, although every fighter and his dog seems to be calling out the “Pacman” since his immortalization against Margarito.
For the Aussie Katsidis, it shouldn’t be a hard rebuilding job for him as his reputation would have earned more good points than bad after the death of his brother in the build up and the fact that he had the champion in trouble in third round.
The Queensland warrior has only been beaten by the likes of Joel Casamayor, Juan Diaz and now Marquez, so it seems like he is mixing in the right class and his time should come again after a well deserved break to mourn his loss and reflect on his future plans.
On the undercard in Vegas, Andre Berto easily defended his WBC Welterweight Title in his first fight for seven months by stopping Mexican Freddy Hernandez in just over two minutes to record his 27th straight victory and remain unbeaten.
He then predictably called out Pacquiao in his post fight interview in what seems to be the only thing on any boxer’s mind who fights within the light-welterweight and light-middleweight divisions.