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Katsidis wants Marquez bout, but Juan Manuel will likely fight Khan next

Amir Khan, Juan Manuel Marquez, Michael Katsidis boxing photo and news imageBy Jason Kim: WBO lightweight interim champion Michael Katsidis (27-2, 22 KO’s) is eager to get a title shot against WBO lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez (51-5-1, 37 KO’s), but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen now or ever. Marquez is talking about wanting to move up in weight to the light welterweight division in hopes of winning a 4th world title in as many divisions. His promotional team Golden Boy Promotions wants to match the 37-year-old Marquez up against WBA junior welterweight champion Amir Khan (23-1, 17 KO’s) in a good money fight in December on HBO.

Marquez will likely take the fight, since his number #1 choice Manny Pacquiao is showing zero interest in fighting him. Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum is saying that he still likely won’t match Pacquiao up against Marquez in a rematch, even if Marquez beats Khan. Arum wants to see Marquez beat a top welterweight and some of the other top light welterweights like Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander before he puts Pacquiao back in with Marquez. That’s not likely to happen given Marquez’s advanced age. Arum wants to ensure that the Marquez-Pacquiao III fight does well.

However, it’s hard to understand why Arum is matching Pacquiao up against Antonio Margarito in November, when Margarito isn’t considered to be as popular as Marquez. Margarito hasn’t beaten a top welterweight since stopping Miguel Cotto two years ago. I think the casual fans have pretty much forgotten completely about that fight after seeing Margarito easily handled by 38-year-old Shane Mosley last year in a 9th round stoppage loss.

What obviously makes Margarito a better opponent for Pacquiao than Marquez is that he fights for the same promotional company Top Rank, and he’s also painfully slow of hand and foot. Marquez foot Pacquiao tooth and nail in two previous fights and many boxing fans felt that Marquez should have won both fights. In looking at those bouts, it’s understand able why Arum wouldn’t be in such a hurry to put Pacquiao back in with Marquez and risk losing his gravy train.

Even if Pacquiao were to beat Marquez, he’ll still likely struggle badly in winning and not look invincible in getting the win. Through clever match-making in the past year, Pacquiao has looked unbeatable against and old and weight drained Oscar De La Hoya, a shot looking Ricky Hatton, a punching bag of a Joshua Clottey and Miguel Cotto. These were all fights where Pacquiao was matched against someone who had either recently been beaten up or was at the very end of their careers.

As far as Katsidis is concerned, he’s not likely going to get the fight he wants against Marquez, because Juan Manuel is looking to get the bigger money now. The Katsidis fight would be great, but HBO wants the Khan-Marquez match-up and they’ll put this fight on pay per view and it will likely bring in decent numbers. Marquez will probably lose to the younger, faster and stronger Khan and HBO will have a new star the easy way, without Khan having to be tested by the top fighters in his own weight class. This could end up looking very much like Daniel Jacobs, when Khan is eventually put in with a good light welterweight and blasted apart like Jacobs was this last weekend against Russian Dmitry Pirog. However, Khan would at least be a star for a little while before that happens.

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