michael_katsidis-420-420x0This coming Friday (July 4, 2014), veteran Michael Katsidis returns to the ring in his hometown of Toowoomba, Australia to take on The UK’s Graham Earl for the vacant German World Boxing Union Light Welterweight title. The books have Katsidis a massive (-2000) favorite over Graham, who is returning around 10 to 1 at (+1000). The bout is a rematch, as the two men met back in February of 2007, when a then undefeated Katsidis battled Earl to a stoppage in the 5th round. That match saw the hard hitting Katsidis drop Earl several times early, even getting Earl’s corner to throw in the towel in round 2. The referee, as he can under BBBofC rules (the fight was in the UK) ignored the towel, and Earl went on to rock Katsidis before the fight was stopped on a cut. Earl went on from that fight to go 1-2 afterwards, losing big to a young, 14-0 Amir Khan and dropping two fights in the opening round. He earned a win over 16-125 Karl Taylor in a six rounder in June of 2009, which marks the last time he stepped into the ring. Over those five years, Earl has turned to training, management and promotion, though the rematch with Katsidis has been in the works for several years. That long layoff is completely the opposite of What Katsidis has been up to since their first meeting, as the Australian has been very active at a high level, going 7-6. He extended world champions Robert Guerrero and Ricky Burns to the full limit, and went 9 rounds with the legendary Juan Manuel Marquez, which is harder competition than Earl has faced at anytime in his career. Katsidis has not won two fights in a row since 2010 and he is looking to maintain a shred of relevance. His last fight, a win against journeyman Eddy Comaro, was in the Lightweight division, so he remains capable of reaching the weight class where he was most relevant. Is there any reason to bet Earl? A five year layoff, up a weight class (though he fought his last bout at welterweight) and facing an Australian guy who beat him in his hometown of Luton, England this time in his hometown? Though betting the underdog in boxing comes with some inherent value, this is one to really keep your money at home on.


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