Michael Katsidis (left) will fight on November 27 despite the very recent passing of his brother, Stathi. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
News yesterday that Stathi Katsidis, the jockey brother of fighter Michael Katsidis, had passed away momentarily put Michael's November 27 fight with Juan Manuel Marquez for the world lightweight championship on hold. But today, Katsidis released a statement that says he will indeed fight on.
I have lost my closest friend, my inspiration in life, my one and only brother. This is something I could never imagine, but for some reason I feel his life is not a loss. My brother is me! We live our lives through each other. We dedicate our triumphs to one another and share the challenges we face in life. What does someone do when they lose the one person in their life like this? They are devastated right? Allow me to share with you Stathi's thoughts and what he wants. If you can believe me, I feel you will all be somewhat enlightened to hear what I have say.
The fight will go on! I will do this for Stathi, my family and myself. The moment I walked in for a grueling sparring session after hearing the news of his death earlier that day, my trainer Brendon Smith shook my hand and said to me "you are about to take the bravest step of your life." We nodded, smiled and went to work. I worked as I have never done before. He is with me and will be all the way. I am happy about this.
I have never experienced anything like I felt that day. Stathi is inside me! We will fight this fight together. I know this is what he wants.
I would like to thank everyone for their well wishes and prayers for my brother, my family and myself. God bless.
If that doesn't get to you just a little, I don't know what to tell you. All respect to Michael Katsidis for choosing to fight on when he could have understandably postponed a fight of this magnitude. It's the biggest fight of his career, and he's choosing to take that to honor his brother. I'm sure no matter how he fares against Marquez, he's going to make the people most important to him proud next month.