Note: We have live coverage just about to start (5:30pm EDT) of the Krysztof Wlodarczyk-Giacobbe Fragomeni rematch. Go here.
Michael Katsidis bucked the UK odds and powered through Kevin Mitchell in three rounds at Upton Park, scoring a devastating win that took the wind out of the sails of around 20,000 in attendance.
Katsidis (27-2, 22 KO) was landing the better shots in the first two rounds, though Mitchell was likely ahead 2-0 on the official cards at the time, given how scoring goes on such decisive home turf as this was. In the third, Katsidis wobbled Mitchell (31-1, 23 KO) very early, and with the Dagenham native on shaky legs, simply poured on the pressure.
Mitchell showed heart, alternately fighting back and doing his best to hang on and get his legs back under him. But it wasn't to be. Katsidis stunned Mitchell with a left hook, and referee Dave Parris jumped in to stop the action as Katsidis was nearing a bad knockout.
After the fight, both fighters showed true class in interviewers, and Sky Sports' Adam Smith even joked that maybe if Katsidis comes back, they can find a fighter to beat him. He has twice now come to London and destroyed tough British fighters in concrete fashion.
Katsidis may well be able to line himself up for a shot at the winner of the Marquez-Diaz rematch, coming on July 31. The WBO ordered Marquez-Katsidis last winter, but the fight didn't come off. Katsidis has fought and lost to Diaz, but in a way that made me want to see them fight again. Diaz is a bit more shop-worn now than he was then, and Katsidis boxed with a terrible game plan in the first fight. Since then, he's gotten back to business and been more himself. His style and power was just way too much for Mitchell today, as he was able to bully him with ease whenever he had the inclination to do so.
For Mitchell, it's back to the drawing board. He is a good fighter, but physically was overmatched by Katsidis, who was just too strong for him. At 25, he's got a lot of career left, and there's no reason he can't still have a fine run. He's not done by a longshot.
On the undercard, Derek Chisora (13-0, 8 KO) easily stopped Danny Williams (41-9, 31 KO) in two rounds. Williams, weighing in at a career-high 275 pounds, offered no resistance. Sky reported that Ricky Hatton said that he'd never seen a fighter more nervous than Williams was in the locker room beforehand, and he seemed like he didn't want to be there. It was predictable; Williams had been talking retirement before the bout, saying this would be his final fight. As I expected, he had no fire whatsoever.
James DeGale, Frankie Gavin and Billy Joe Saunders all won again as well.
Be sure to join us later tonight at 9:45pm EDT for the HBO double-header, main evented by Khan-Malignaggi.