THE fight is on. Only the time and place needs to be finalised.
Toowoomba’s former interim world lightweight champion Michael Katsidis will face England’s Graham Earl on a Queensland stage in August.
Katsidis’ trainer-manager Brendon Smith confirmed the pair would meet in a long-awaited rematch, four years after the Australian stopped his rival in a brutal contest which earned the pair a Fight of the Year award.
Toowoomba’s Clive Berghofer Stadium is still in the running to host the Katsidis-Earl showdown.
Smith expects to make an announcement on the venue sometime next week.
Melbourne has already been ruled out as a possible fight host.
Smith and Katsidis inspected the Gold Coast Convention Centre on Wednesday as a potential venue while the Boondall Entertainment Centre is also under consideration.
“We didn’t finalise a verbal agreement until around 2 o’clock this morning and there is still a lot of planning to do,” Smith said.
“Earl was happy enough to accept the fight without a venue being confirmed.
“Melbourne is out of the equation now, so he knows he is headed for Queensland and he’s more than happy to face Michael at whichever venue we finally decide on.”
Katsidis and Earl met in February, 2007 when the Englishman was stopped in the fifth round of their Wembley Arena bout which was played out in front of a fanatical home crowd.
Katsidis claimed the WBO interim world title with the win which catapulted him into the American spotlight.
Earl has continually chased Katsidis since the loss for a promised rematch even though he hasn’t stepped into the ring since June, 2009.
“He has shown up at press conferences and even tried to enter our training camp in Thailand in the lead-up to the Juan Manuel Marquez title fight to issue a challenge,” Smith said.
“We did promise him the rematch and now his wish has been granted. What an amazing fight it will be for Australia.”
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