Michael Katsidis will be out to return to the winners' circle on Saturday when he fights in Las Vegas.
Michael Katsidis will be out to return to the winners' circle on Saturday when he fights in Las Vegas. Getty Images

Katsidis relies on new corner

MICHAEL Katsidis will do something he hasn't done for a long time on Saturday - fight without Brendon Smith in his corner.

Katsidis and Smith enjoyed a 20-year relationship as boxer and trainer which took the Toowoomba pugilist to the Sydney Olympic Games and two WBO lightweight world titles.

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But late last year Katsidis cut ties with Smith following his loss to Ricky Burns and teamed up with trainer Justin Fortune, who has previously guided fighters such as Mike Tyson and Manny Pacquiao.

Katsidis will fight for the first time under Fortune in Las Vegas on Friday night (Saturday AEST) when he takes on Ghana's Albert Mensah for the IBF junior welterweight championship at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

Mensah is on a 15-bout winning streak although his last split decision victory over Andre Gorges last July for the vacant IBF junior welterweight title was the first fight of his 28-bout career held outside Africa.

Katsidis is a much tougher proposition, however, although he has lost three of his past four fights.

The 31-year-old relocated to Los Angeles to train under Fortune at his Hollywood gym and he said he had had a great preparation in his new surrounds.

"I'm in America and I'm fighting the best in the world and I'm giving it my best shot, and I'm going to beat them at the same time," Katsidis told ESPN.

The Katsidis fight will be shown on ESPN 2 from 1pm on Saturday.


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