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Marquez vs Katsidis: Champ wins classic versus brave Aussie

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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. He rained down unanswered blows until referee Kenny Bayless had no other option but to halt proceedings and save Katsidis from further punishment.

Katsidis had started well in the opening rounds. He caught the unified champion with a sweet left hand to put him on the floor in the third round.

However, 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). He 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. It does makes sense to get the third fight made with Marquez.

At the same time, 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. His reputation would have earned more good points than bad after the death of his brother in the build-up.

The fact that he had the champion in trouble in the third round will serve him well after this.

The Queensland warrior has only been beaten by the likes of Joel Casamayor, Juan Diaz, and now Marquez. It seems 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.

Berto stopped 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.

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