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Michael Katsidis vs. Kevin Mitchell Fight Prediction and Pick to Win

When: Saturday, May 15, 2010
Where: Upton Park in West Ham, London, United Kingdom
Weight Class: Interim WBO Lightweight Title: 12 Rounds
By Scotty L of

Michael Katsidis, 26-2 (21 KOs), Queensland, Australia. Vs. Kevin Mitchell, 31-0 (23 KOs), Essex, United Kingdom.

Fight Odds: Michael Katsidis (+140), Kevin Mitchell (-175)
Over/Under: Over 11.5 (-110), Under 11.5 (-125)

Preview: An important lightweight fight takes place on Saturday when Michael Katsidis and Kevin Mitchell battle for the interim WBA Lightweight strap. Fans better know Katsidis this side of the Atlantic, due to his gutsy, though losing performances against Joel Casamayor and Juan Diaz. Mitchell has completed a long building-up process and now seems ready to try his hand at the top level. Katsidis seems like a sensible enough jump in class.

Katsidis is one of the more exciting fighters in the sport. He is a straight-ahead slugger with guts and passion. While lacking the finesse to compete with the truly elite, he isn’t that far off either. He had Joel Casamayor in deep peril before capitulating to the veteran champion. Against excellent lightweight titleholder Juan Diaz, he fought well and gamely in losing a split decision. He can hit very hard. He possesses some of the heavier hands in the division. Where he falters is his lack of the finer points. He is not terribly intelligent or adaptable in the ring. He can be hit, as his defense is basically an afterthought. His best defensive tactic is hitting his opponent enough to dissuade a counter attack.

Kevin Mitchell is far more polished. A classy boxer with respectable power, Mitchell really impressed with his wide points win over Amir Khan-conqueror Breidis Prescott. He nullified Prescott’s slashing power game with a hustling and alert game plan featuring great boxing. He is a clever sort in the ring who relies on brains as much as brawn. So what we have here is the classic boxer vs. puncher matchup.

The bout’s site, in Upton Park in West Ham, will definitely pump some wind into the sails of Mitchell. The soccer stadium figures to fill up with a large and pro-Mitchell throng that will cheer every move made by Mitchell while never acknowledging the work of Katsidis. Mitchell will be fighting the biggest fight in his career in favorable conditions that should be worth a few rounds on the cards at least. That is, of course, assuming Katsidis doesn’t blast Mitchell out of there. This is really his only chance. He cannot battle Mitchell on even terms in a cute boxing match.

Mitchell’s chin is untested to some degree. His skills, more than his chin, has seen him through against prodigious punchers like Breidis Prescott. What happens when receiving a stiff clout to the chin is really anyone’s guess. Assuming he won’t fall to pieces, I think he will fare very well with the one-dimensional Katsidis. His craft will allow him to put rounds in the bag. If he can manage to not allow Katsidis to tee off on him with a series of wrecking-ball shots, he should be able to outmaneuver him to a large degree.

Scotty's Pick to Win: I think Kevin Mitchell has been an overlooked talent. With Amir Khan fighting around the same weight, Mitchell’s true potential has been drowned out to a large degree. Mitchell will serve notice here that he is a factor. He will out-position the crude Australian slugger with superior movement and skills. Katsidis will not go meekly, as Mitchell will have some gut-checks during the fight. Katsidis will try hard, but by the latter rounds, will be battered after absorbing a lot of leather. Mitchell might be able to get him out of there late, but I think the likelier result is a clear unanimous decision for Mitchell. Lay the –175 on Kevin Mitchell to win.

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