Former two-time WBO lightweight champion Michael Katsidis is reportedly set to retire after withdrawing from his next bout scheduled for February 21 at the The Melbourne Pavilion in Victoria, Australia.
News reports indicate that a recent MRI and CRT scan performed on Katsidis were not satisfactory.
"Michael was crying over this news," his trainer Johnny Lewis told News Ltd.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.
"Boxing is a tough sport and it's no good taking chances with your health. Michael is a great bloke with a wife and young daughter and he has so much in his life to be happy about even though this chapter of his boxing career is closing."
Katsidis’ all-action style was reminiscent of the late Arturo Gatti. He fought with pure heart and determination.
“I consider him to have been Australia's greatest fighter," his former long-time trainer Brendon Smith told thewest.com.au.
In typical Katsidis fashion, he won the interim WBO lightweight belt by hauling himself off the canvas to stop Graham Earl in 2007.
The bout was a war from the opening bell.
In another brutal battle, Katsidis suffered the first loss of his career to Joel Casamayor in 2008.
Katsidis rebounded to capture the WBO title for the second time by defeating Vicente Escobedo in Las Vegas, Nevada.
He was back in Las Vegas a year later to challenge Mexican star Juan Manuel Marquez for the WBA lightweight title. He floored Marquez in the third round, but couldn’t maintain his advantage – eventually being stopped in round nine.
Katsidis would later lose to Robert Guerrero and Ricky Burns. It was apparent that his all or nothing style was catching up with him.
"He's been a great fighter and he's a special person," Smith said.
This writer certainly concurs. Katsidis has always handled himself with class and dignity.
He will be missed.