Michael Katsidis screamed, “What are you looking at?” at opponent Robert Guerrero before the bell rang to start round one of the lightweight clash which served as the leadin to the Marcos Maidana-Erik Morales bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday night. The Californian Guerrero answered with his fists, “A darned fine fighter,” in the first frame. And he proved that for all twelve rounds of a superb showing, in which he used superior ring generalship and accurate combos to dominate in a 117-108, 118-106, 118-107 victory.
Next up for Guerrero, the WBA/WBO interim champ, is probably a date with Juan Manuel Marquez. TSS Universe, who do you like in that one?
But Katsidis (27-3 entering; age 30) barked back, and buzzed the Ghost (28-1 entering; age 28), causing his glove to touch the canvas, though the ref didn't pick up on that, with 1:20 left in the second.
The lefty Guerrero, looking confident, busy as a beaver, was spot on with sharp combos, and by the third, I was moving him up, rapidly, on my mental pound for pound top 20.
A right in the fourth tickled Guerrero's whiskers. But he didn't slow up. He hurt Katsidis in the fifth, via a straight left on the button, and the Aussie had a little cut on his left eyelid. In round six, Katsidis still hadn't switched things up, still let Guerrero be first. The Ghost simply owned the center of the ring, throwing shots, sliding left or right a bit, or backing up a step, rinse and repeat.
A gash appeared under Katsidis' right eye in the seventh, but blood is old news to the Aussie. In the next round, Katsidis had a point taken for a low blow, and then again a minute later. The second “low blow” might not have been, as he was working to the body legit. In the ninth, Katsidis was peppier, sensing that Guerrero was wilting maybe a tad. The ref then took a point in the ninth from Guerrero with 15 seconds to go for a low shot.
Guerrero moved a bit more in the 11th, making sure not to get snagged into a phonebooth rumble after Katsidis had a solid tenth. Both his eyes swollen, Katsidis wouldn't be put off from trying to land that game changer. In the 12th, Guerrero kept on doing what it was that made him dominant. We'd go to the cards, with zero drama, after a fierce flurry by Guerrero.
Check back for David Avila's ringside report.
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