Super Six Lightweights: Part 4 – Valero-Funeka & Katsidis-Guzman II
By Peter Wells: Well now we’re into the Semi-Finals, with Kevin Mitchell who would now be 30-3 and Paulus Moses who would now be 25-3. Well we are left with Ali Funeka 33-2-3, Edwin Valero 27-1, Michael Katsidis 28-4 and now World Boxing Council and WBA champion, and Joan Guzman 31-1-1. Well with those 4 left in it I might as well get to the fights.
Michael Katsidis vs Joan Guzman
After Guzman easily defeated Katsidis last time out in the tournament, this is a battle of revenge for Michael as well as getting a step closer to the golden prize. Katsidis would be more patient this time, and make sure he was able to catch Guzman before firing away. Guzman started smoothly once again, keeping out of reach and slamming shots in every time he finds an opening. Katsidis tries to rush in and catches Guzman with some good shots. Guzman not looking too far ahead makes sure he isn’t caught, but the relentless pressure from Michael causes him to make mistakes. Joan is able to get away, and Katsidis’s sluggish style, gets caught plenty of times flush to rap up the final rounds for Guzman. Michael has one last serge in the last round but Guzman is able to escape bleeding from a cut over his right eye, but takes a comfortable decision by 4 or 5 rounds.
Edwin Valero vs Ali Funeka
Now for the final fight before the final, Edwin Valero is coming off a defeat to Michael Katsidis, while Funeka is on brilliant form winning all three fights. Valero rushes out early, and stuns Funeka in round 2 before dropping the lanky South African at the end of the round. Ali recovers in the next round keeping the jumpy Valero at the end of his jab. Valero gets hurt in round 5 rushing in from a big right from Funeka. Edwin keeps coming forward and is floored in round 7 by a big right hook. Valero looks unsteady as Funeka keeps the punches coming before the referee rescues Valero at the end of round 7.
So there we have it, Joan Guzman vs Ali Funeka II in the final to become the best Lightweight in the world and the WBA and WBC belts held by Joan Guzman.
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