Michael Katsidis wins: HoganPhotos.com
By Paul Upham: Australian lightweight contender Michael “The Great” Katsidis won a comfortable ten round boxing points decision over Argentine Angel Ramirez on Saturday night at the Cebu Coliseum in Cebu City, Philippines. Rarely troubled throughout, Katsidis picked up the vacant WBO Asia Pacific lightweight title.
31 year-old Ramirez 19-5-2 (8) was on the move in round 1, using fast side to side paces along the ropes to stay out of Katsidis’ range.
In round 2, Ramirez hit the canvas from what appeared to be a slip, but referee Bruce McTavish issued an eight count. Later in the round, 28 year-old Katsidis 24-2 (20) was penalised for hitting on the break, which effectively negated the earlier knockdown.
Ramirez showed toughness in round 4 to survive to the bell, after being knocked down on three separate occasions, more from hard punches pushing him off balance, rather than he being stunned senseless.
Fighting out of Spain, Ramirez, 134lbs mounted a small comeback at the beginning of round 6. However, after both boxers were sent to their corners mid-round to have loose tape on their gloves repaired, they returned to centre ring with neither boxer taking the initiative. Katsidis, 135lbs had become tired of chasing Ramirez and backed off. With no punches being thrown, the referee had to step forward and remind them they were in a professional boxing match and were obliged to engage in combat.
Ramirez gave no impression of launching any offensive charge in the final four rounds in an attempt to win and looked pleased just to be able to last the distance.
Judges scored the fight unanimously for Katsidis 96-89, 96-89, 98-87.
Katsidis had two losses in 2008 in major fights in the USA against Joel Casamayor and Juan Diaz. He is now looking towards a match with former IBF world champion Julio Diaz in April.