Big Fight Preview – Katsidis-Burns, Groves-Smith, Boulden-Saunders

By Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

I’m sure promoter Frank Warren must have been chanting ‘Remember, Remember the Fifth of November’ as he was planning his upcoming triple Championship headed ‘Gladiators’ show, which will take place at Wembley Arena on Guy Fawkes Night and shown live on BoxNation (Sky platform 456).

The pugilistic pyrotechnics on display will culminate in an explosive finale as former WBO Super Featherweight World Champion Ricky Burns and the Brit Bashing Aussie Michael Katsidis lock horns for the interim WBO Lightweight World title.

Katsidis is no stranger to battling it out on British shores, having stopped both Graham Earl and Kevin Mitchell in spectacular fashion, so will feel quite at home when he faces Coatbridge’s former Super Featherweight supremo Ricky Burns.

It bodes well that Burns has been stating that he feels stronger, since vacating the WBO title and moving up to the Lightweight division, as his good pal Kevin Mitchell can attest Katsidis is one seriously tough cookie.

Since beating our Kev, Katsidis has been in three seriously tough fights, the first against World #1 Juan Manuel Marquez, who he sent to the canvas prior to being stopped himself, then he took World #2 ranked Robert Guerrero the full distance. In his last fight Katsidis came back, from those two back to back losses, to KO Mexico’s Michael Lozada.

Burns on the other hand is unbeaten since 2007 and defended his World Crown three times, since beating Roman Martinez to lift the coveted title in September 2010.

It’s going to be a great fight but unfortunately I have to say that I think Katsidis, who’s a big Lightweight, is the stronger of the two and has to be the bookies favourite to win the triple crown by adding Burns to his list of British victims.

Heading up the explosive undercard sees George Groves defend his British and Commonwealth Super Middleweight titles against former British Champ Paul Smith.

Groves is riding high after his magnificent victory over James DeGale, but can’t afford to be too complacent against former champ Smith.

Yes I know, Smith lost his crown to DeGale and Groves then went and took it from DeGale, but believe me this is no easy fight for Groves.

Smith is not going to make the same mistakes, tactically, as he did against DeGale and as such is likely to revert to his normal style and bring the fight to Groves.

Both Groves and Smith fought different fights to how expected when they faced DeGale so any comparisons to those fights is right out of the window. I feel that this fight we’re likely to see them playing their normal game and as such are likely to see Smith coming forward with Groves boxing of the back foot for the first three or four rounds, then the more it goes on the real fireworks are likely to start as they go head to head.

The third championship bout on the card sees undefeated Middleweight sensation Billy Joe Saunders challenge Gary Boulden for his BBBofC Southern Area belt.

Saunders, a former Olympian, is without doubt one of the most exciting young fighters around today and to be honest I can see this fight, against the defending Champion, ending very much the same way as his past four bouts.

Boulden is a great Southern Area level Champion, but BJ is way above regional level or come to that domestic level. In his last four fights he barely broke into a sweat before dispatching his opponents, all in under 6 minutes.

Also on the card is ‘Del Boy’ Dereck Chisora, making his welcome return to the ring, since losing his British and Commonwealth Heavyweight straps to Tyson Fury back in July. On November 5th ‘Del Boy’ will be facing fellow Londoner Larry Olubamiwo.

As with Boulden-Saunders I can’t see this lasting very long at all as big Larry O isn’t in the same class as Del Boy, by a country mile, and I reckon Olubamiwo will be seeing stars before the end of the first round.

Also on the excellent card are ‘Super’ Bradley Skeete, Darren Cordona, George Michael Carmen as well as Billy Joe Saunders are fellow Jimmy and Mark Tibbs trained/TRAD TKO gym mates Frankie Buglioni and Gary Corcoran.

Frank Warren Promotions ‘Gladiators’ headlined by the interim WBO Lightweight title clash between Ricky Burns and Michael Katsidis will take place at Wembley Arena, and broadcast live on BoxNation (Sky Platform Ch. 456), on Saturday the 5th November 2011.

Tickets, priced £150 (Ringside), £100 (Floor), £75 (Floor), £50 (Tier) and £40 (Tier), are available now on-line at www.tkoboxoffice.com or from the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA

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