Michael Katsidis, one of the top action stars of this generation, is likely to retire from boxing after getting some bad news following an MRI and CAT scan. Doctors have advised the 32-year-old former world title challenger to not box again, and he's canceled a February 21 fight.
From trainer Johnny Lewis via the Daily Telegraph:
"Michael was crying over this news," a dejected Lewis said. "It's heartbreaking. He wants to speak to his family first before announcing anything but really I'm glad the tests have stopped him fighting before something really bad happened."
Katsidis (28-6, 23 KO) has lost four of his last five fights, including dropping an upset decision to Albert Mensah in April 2012. It appears that will be the final fight of a memorable career.
Over his 11 years as a pro, Katsidis never did win a world title, though he challenged lineal lightweight champions Joel Casamayor and Juan Manuel Marquez, losing by stoppage in a pair of terrific fights.
The biggest win of his career probably came in 2010, when he plowed through Kevin Mitchell at Upton Park in West Ham, London. Perhaps the greatest fight of his career, though, was a win in 2007 against Czar Amonsot, a blood-drenched brawl that took an enormous toll on both men.
It's unlikely that many of today's boxing fans will remember Katsidis anything but fondly as a fighter. He was a double-tough, gutsy guy who left blood, sweat, and tears in the ring each time out. Even in his final performance, though clearly past his better days, Katsidis was an unreal punching machine, constantly swinging at Mensah throughout the entire 10 rounds.
If this is truly the end for Katsidis, then it sounds like it's the right decision, and it's good, as Lewis said, that he's getting out before something goes very wrong. Katsidis was a true warrior in the ring, an all-or-nothing tornado of violence who was able to take unreal punishment. That comes with a price, though, and it's time for Katsidis to go.