The aged warrior Joel Casamayor capped off another fantastic weekend of boxing with a dramatic stoppage Michael Katsidis, the rising Aussie star. The lineal lightweight champion, and holder of the Ring Magazine title, returned to top form at the age of 36 despite facing tremendous challenge from the betting favorite.
Continue after the jump for the breakdown of yet another early candidate for Fight of the Year as well as the rest of the weekend's boxing action and last weekend's epic rematch...
Casamayor insisted that he would take the fight to his all-action opponent and he did just that. In the very first round the champ briefly stunned a jumpy Katsidis (now 23-1 20 KO's) on two separate occasions leading to two quick knockdowns. However Katsidis lived up to his deserved reputation as a first rate warrior and battled himself back into the fight. Within a few rounds he was circling away from his left-handed opponent and beating him with authority. Casamayor looked old and weak in the ring with the man they call the next Arturo Gatti (blood and swelling to match).
Katsidis threw flurries of punches in the sixth round inflicting serious strain on the champs body. It all culminated with Katsidis sending Casamayor out of the ring. Right through the damn ropes. The champ swore he wasn't hurt, and he went on to prove it shortly thereafter. Katsidis sensed victory and came at Casamayor with everything he could manage, but the veteran managed to maneuver his way out of trouble.
Casamayor began to reclaim control of the fight in the later rounds, and Katsidis could see his hold slipping. The Action Hero took it upon himself to knock out the champion, but he got entirely too reckless. The fight ended the moment Katsidis walked into a perfectly thrown left hand. He bounced right back up from the canvas like he did in the first, but this time his eyes were vacant, and his legs were gone. After a few stumbles down Queer Street (as Large would say) the ref made things official.
If you get a chance, watch this fight. It was pretty incredible, and the undercard was fantastic.
• Lee eats fists, Steward eats words. Legendary trainer, and proprietor of Kronk Gym, has been talking up his latest find Andy Lee to anyone who would listen. Oftentimes that has included national television audiences. Lately the word out of Manny's camp was that the young, untested Irishman was plenty capable of knocking out Kelly Pavlik. Well on the year's best episode of Friday Night Fights (easily) Lee got a chance to put the middleweights on notice. Unfortunately for the awkward lefty (he fights just like you'd expect a tall awkward Irishman to fight) he wound up getting his ass beaten down by a former contestant from Contender. We'll be saying goodbye to Mr. Lee now.
• Pac-Man! Last night HBO also showed the replay of last week's PPV classic between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez. It was everything you'd expect to see from two of the top five boxers on the planet in a rematch of a draw. If you missed it, find it. Check your listings, check eBay, check the torrent sites. Just watch it.