Ricky Burns was able to keep Michael Katsidis at bay just enough to win a hard-fought decision today in London. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Ricky Burns scored the biggest win of his career 14 months ago when he upset Roman "Rocky" Martinez at home in Scotland. But tonight, he topped himself, moving up to lightweight and topping a still-tough Michael Katsidis over 12 action-packed rounds.
Burns won on scores of 117-111, 117-111, and 117-112. Bad Left Hook scored it 115-113 for Burns.
Katsidis (28-5, 23 KO) was relentless through all 12 rounds, and at times did physically overwhelm Burns (33-2, 9 KO). But the Aussie's constant pressure just wasn't quite enough in too many rounds, as the Scot was able to effectively counter, land cleaner and more eye-catching shots, and overall outboxed Katsidis by just enough to come through with a big victory.
Those who were worried Katsidis may be shot can lay those fears to rest just a bit. He's certainly not the fighter he was a few years back, but he still has a big gas tank, can bring heat with the best of them, and showed that he can still compete with a good fighter. There are still interesting fights out there for him at 135 and 140 pounds, and given his general attitude, it's tough to see him walking away any time soon.
Burns legitimized himself to some degree with this win, proving he wasn't a one-hit wonder. While neither Martinez nor Katsidis are the toughest nuts to crack in terms of how to box them successfully, both are tough and powerful fighters, both were game and fought hard, and Burns was able to neutralize each man with his steady diet of solid but unspectacular technique. There is nothing Burns does exceptionally well, but he really doesn't have any big flaws, either. He can take a shot, he's got honest enough power, and he's a clever fighter. How high he can go at 135 pounds is anyone's guess right now, but we know he can contend.
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