MICHAEL Katsidis stepped into the ring at Rumours International on Friday night thinking about nothing but an upset-minded Eddy Comaro. It only took Katsidis three rounds to make his statement, mainly because Comaro rode his bicycle out of harm’s way for most of the fight.
But Katsidis (now 29-6, 24 KOs), eventually tracked down Comaro (now 27-18-5, 11 KOs), dropped him twice and finished him off when referee Steve Marshall crowned the former two-time WBO lightweight titlist in the third round of a scheduled eight. Yes, Comaro was overmatched, but Katsidis had to make his comeback against someone – and given his twenty three months of inactivity, the calibre of opponent seemed justified.
From virtually the opening bell to the last, the outcome of the lightweight clash never was in doubt. Fighting for the first time since a forced lay-off, where Katsidis was incorrectly misdiagnosed by doctors and advised to retire, the Toowoomba-based brawler looked right at home.
Everyone was looking for signs that Katsidis’ confidence and ring ability might have been shaken, but at this stage, it doesn’t appear to be the case.
Katsidis, 33, showed patience in tracking down Comaro, 27, whose size didn’t appear to cause and problems for the returning Queenslander. Katsidis was effective in cutting off the ring and on more than one occasion landed clubbing hooks that appeared to unsettle the Indonesian.
“It’s good to be back, it’s been two years. I lost big fights and I lost friends, but I learned a lesson in life.” an elated Katsidis proclaimed post-fight. “I now know where my real friends are and it’s back here in Toowoomba. It’s great to be back here surrounded by them again and to know I can still fight.”
In the semi-main event of the evening, a three-round shoot-out took place as undefeated Queenslander’s Kris George and Ozan Craddock collided in a dramatic fight for the vacant Queensland welterweight title.
Craddock, 22, flew out of the blocks and barely a minute had elapsed when he started to land a crisp jabs on George’s high guard. He easily won the first round with sharp, attacking jabs and hooks, while George, 24, had to settle for looping over-hand shots, that grazed the gloves of a confident on Craddock on more than one occasion.
Not only did the clash present a lively encounter for those in attendance, it also produced a knockout of the year candidate to join Mark Flanagan’s highlight-reel finish over Andy Green last month.
The fight then exploded as a counter left from George stunned Craddock hard – who had never been floored in over seventy fights as an amateur and professional – this changed when George followed up with a pinpoint right-hand that landed on the button as Craddock was heavily felled. Craddock (now 6-1, 5 KOs) got to his feet quickly but was clearly devoid of his senses, stumbling twice before crashing into the ropes, where referee Derek Milham had no choice but to wave the contest off.
With the win, George not only lifted the Queensland welterweight title, but also marked his name as one to watch in 2014, improving his undefeated log to 6-0, with five inside the distance.
Michael Katsidis TKO3 Eddy Comaro
Kris George KO3 Ozan Craddock
Brayd Smith UD8 Jose Saez
Jack Asis UD8 Arief Blader
Josh Baillie TKO1 Alister Lardner
Graham Blay UD3 Olaf Olsen
Cory Hess SD3 Jaikom Paitoon