HE might be fighting in his home state, but nothing about competing at Rumours International will be familiar for Josh King.
The popular Townsville resident and formerly world rated lightweight will play the unfamiliar role of visitor within the confines of the Queensland border when he challenges former two-time WBO interim titleholder Michael Katsidis over eight heats in Toowoomba on March 11th.
King, 31, had been inactive for fifteen months, taking a hiatus from the sport to support his partner with the birth of their first child last year. Despite his inactivity, King (20-4, 9 KOs) did not hesitate when the offer came through.
“It’s a massive fight and it’s a massive name to have on my record,” said King in an interview with TGW Smithy’s Promotions representative James O’Shea. “I’m pumped to get the opportunity to fight down there in Toowoomba.”
“I was in training to fight another guy overseas and that sort of fell through, this came up and we jumped on this straight away.”
“I had a little baby boy about nine months ago now, so him and the missus will be coming up for the trip. I had a little bit of time off while the young fella was born – I had a good year off – and now I’m ready to go.”
For King, there is an element of surrealism behind signing to face an accomplished fighter like Katsidis (31-7, 24 KOs), who has been celebrated for his never-say-die attitude for the best part of a near decade.
Most combatants aspire to emulate the feats of the athletes that paved the way before them, and for that reason alone, King is relishing the opportunity to meet the accomplished Toowoomba native next month.
“I’ve always just wanted to meet Michael and now I’ve got the chance to fight him, which is unreal.” he explained. “I’ve taken the fight thinking that I can 100 percent win. I can’t wait to get down there and put on a show for all the fans in Toowoomba. I think you’re not going to be able to blink throughout the fight. Me and him will just be going at it for eight rounds.”
“I think I will come out victorious towards the end of the fight and I should get my hand raised at the end of it.”
“Everything has got to be right,” he added. “All my sparring has got to be right and I’ve got to outwork him in everything that he can do.”
King is under no illusion that a win over Katsidis will be the biggest of his professional career. But with that in mind, he refuses to be intimated by the task at hand and is ready to make a statement in his return fight.
“Look, I had a big opportunity to fight Ricky Burns – and I took a lot out of that – I got a lot of confidence out of taking a big fight like that,” he concluded. “This is just another big fight as well and I’m happy for it to be in Queensland.”
“I’m going out there to try and stop him. I think I’ve got the power to stop him and beat him pretty convincingly.”
Photo: Hayden Hooper