Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Michael Katsidis Preview & Picks

Juan Manuel Marquez makes his mandatory lightweight title defense this Saturday against Michael Katsidis at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The fight will headline an HBO tripleheader which includes Andre Berto vs. Freddy Hernandez and Celestino Caballero vs. Jason Litzau. The action begins at 9:45 pm ET on HBO this Saturday.

Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Michael Katsidis
Money Line: Marquez -300; Katsidis +220
WBO Lightweight Title

Juan Manuel Marquez (51-5-1, 37 KOs) is still one of the best at his craft despite his 37 years of age. It’s an easy statement to overlook considering Marquez has won only three of his last five fights. But when those two losses come to pound-for-pound elite Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, Marquez certainly may not be getting his just due. Two wins over former lightweight champion Juan Diaz have put Marquez atop a weight class for the third time in his Hall of Fame career. Explosiveness and grit have not only endeared Marquez to a nation of Mexican fans, it’s also earned him respect amongst boxing fans across the globe.

One would have to travel the globe in order to find the opponent for Juan Manuel Marquez this Saturday, Australia’s Michael Katsidis (27-2, 22 KOs). Known for his warrior spirit in the ring, Katsidis is a perfect compliment of style to Mexico’s Marquez. Neither man can be in a bad fight so expectations are running high. At 30 years old, Katsidis not only has youth on his side, but he has fought all ten years of his professional career at lightweight. After back-to-back losses, although thrilling, to Joel Casamayor and Juan Diaz, Michael Katsidis has rolled off four consecutive victories. Even though Marquez isn’t the guy you would want to slug it out with, chances are that Katsidis will bring it at him anyway.

Staff Predictions

Corey Willinger: Here’s two guys who always come to fight and never go quietly. What Katsidis lacks in speed and sharpness he may just make up for with his size and punch resistance. And with Katsidis fighting with the added incentive of honoring his brother, who passed away only a month ago, Marquez is going to have to be at his counter-punching best to turn back his Australian challenger. I see a good two-way action fight gradually turning in Marquez’s favor to the point where Katsidis is outclassed but unfazed. Katsidis will have his moments and bring out the best in Marquez, who will ultimately win a wide but hard-earned decision against the natural lightweight, 117-111.

Trent Pusey: A lot of us have been waiting a long time for this fight. Katsidis is tough and won’t go away, but Juan Manuel Marquez is just a better boxer. If age has caught up to the Mexican champion, Katsidis may be able to put just enough pressure on to score the upset. I don’t see that happening, however. Katsidis can get hit and Marquez will be more than happy to oblige. I see Marquez winning by a wide margin, 119-109.

Paul Magno: The only question about this one is whether Marquez has enough left in the tank to deal with a physically strong and determined Katsidis. At prime, Marquez, would pick Katsidis apart and probably stop him before the ninth. Now, it’s not so certain. But I think Marquez is smart enough and has enough left to be able to win fairly comfortably. My pick is Marquez via UD, but with some scary moments in the last 3 rounds.

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