Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Rumble In The Jungle

G’day Bazel here. Boxing. There’s something very liberating about hitting an opponent  then being able to stand and take their best shots. One thing over looked with boxing is the mental aspect of the sport. There is a science to boxing that you can only appreciate when there's someone in front of you in the ring. A balance of mental and physical strength allows boxing to transcend mere sport.

Queenslander Michael Katsidis is without a doubt one the most electrifying fighters to hail from our shores, exposing audiences to some of the most exciting, brutal, yet entertaining boxing you’ll ever get to see. A real sportsman. The Toowoomba boy with the deadly punch had to make some pretty tough adjustments with his most difficult battle, farewelling his beloved brother, legendary Australian jockey Stathi Katsidis.
Being a family friend of the McCracken's I managed to get some pretty impressive statistics. Katsidis fought as a lightweight for the Australian Olympic team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He has a string of superior titles like Australian Light Welterweight Champion, WBO Asia Pacific Lightweight champion and IBF Pacific Lightweight champion with Katsidis’s records being 33 fights, 28 wins, 23 way of KO.... this guy can punch!
Recently, Katsidis relocated to Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. The family man is patiently evaluating his choices with the world’s biggest promoters and trainers all petitioning for a signature to their contracts.  
This guy has fought and beaten some of the best, it’s no wonder he teamed up with prominent boxing manager Vlad Warton who has trained the likes of Kostya Tszyu. It will be exciting to see what this duo achieves over the next year.
I’m a pretty happy guy right now because I was lucky enough to speak to Michael Katsidis who put some time aside from his busy training schedule in Japan to speak me.....
1)    Can you tell me about the new team you’ve put together
“I’m excited about my new team; I’m putting together the best team to get me to where I need to be. I Have signed Vlad Warton as my new manager, I can’t say enough about Vlad and the motivation he gives me and Cristy Grinham is taking care of my PR and personal sponsorship needs. My new trainer is in a very specialist position which requires full confidence to work together. My life is on the line when I fight so this may take time to finalise. As a team it's very much based on trust.”
2)    When did you know you wanted to be a professional fighter?
“At the age of seven. Silly as this sounds I think it was at the precise moment when rocky defeated Ivan Drago” Michael laughs. “Seriously though this is why I was nicknamed Rocky for my first 15 professional fights”
3)    Why the move to the states?
“Moving to the states has been the biggest challenge of my life, but a challenge I’m taking head on, nobody was ever going to come to my backyard and fight.”
4)    Best or worst advice ever taken?
“I’ve been told a million things a million times and to date nothing comes to mind and stands out. I know that the best advice I have ever taken has been from my own life experiences. So I guess the answer to that question would be that the best advice would be from my inner self.”

5)    What do you miss most about Australian culture?
“Of course my family that's there. After being away for so long you miss the comradery of a fellow Aussie. After seeing a lot of the world I find my own people are very genuine. A characteristic which I value the most. If I’m in a public place and hear the Aussie accent I generally pick on it immediately and quiet often go out of my way to say g’day.”
6)    A lot of people complain about training. What’s the key to staying so focused?
“No pain no gain. The key to staying focused is to look at it from an outsider’s perspective you can put the hard work in now, achieve results or do nothing and get nothing done.”
7)    What pisses you off the most?
8)    Favourite quote?
“Don’t die wondering.”
9)    If you had to pick one which would it be: Aussie Rules, Rugby Union, Rugby League or Gridiron?
“Rugby League. My family are long standing bulldogs supporters.”
10)  Most memorable fight to date?
Michael laughs “I don’t remember much of any of them….but seriously the most memorable fight was my 2nd fight at 21 years of age against one of Australia’s most decorated fighters, James Swan for the AUS lightweight title.”
11)  When was your “I’ve made it” moment?
“When I made it through my first amateur fight I was so scared during that fight that I couldn’t even throw my right hand, when I made it through the fight unharmed, I knew that was it from here on in.”
12)  Which talent would you most like to have?
“A photographic memory. I have travelled the world and I’m sure there's some amazing things that I have forgotten.”
13)  What’s your trademark or trait that gets you noticed?
“Whatta you lookin at!!!!!!!” and also my Sparta helmet. At my last fight in Australia there were some fans wearing replicas, I loved it, this gets me motivated!!”

14)  When can we expect to see you fight back in Australia?
“I would love to have a big fight on home soil in the near future to give back to my loyal fans, sponsors and supporters, but first I must win my next one in the States. I would like to have my next big fight beamed from USA on free to air in Australia, so all of my fans can see the fight without having to pay for it. Boxing may really be reinvented and rejuvenated in Australia by bringing BIG TIME BOXING to every television screen free to air. Once my next fight is announced, Vlad will look into that as we both look forward to it becoming a reality.”

15)  Is it true you have been inducted into a hall of fame, tell me about that.
“I have been inducted into the Hellenic Hall of fame; this was a great honour, and a part of my career that stands out to me.”
16)  What can we expect from Michael Katsidis in 2012?
“We have so much in the pipeline at the moment; I have no doubt that this is going to be one of my best years yet.”
For all management enquiries please contact Vlad Warton on +1 917 301 4287 vladwarton@aol.cm
For all PR and Sponsorship enquiries please contact Cristy Grinham 0416242690 or grin.taffe@bigpond.com

Thank you Cristy and Michael for your time. Michael has also donated a pair of limited addition autographed boxing gloves to give away to one lucky CocoBongo supporter! All you have to do is LIKE our CocoBongo page to go in the draw;)

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