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Katsidis aims for the top

TOOWOOMBA'S Michael Katsidis has a clear message he wants to send the boxing world this weekend.

His fight against Scotsman Ricky Burns in London is not a Christmas payday bash, it's planned to be a wind-up point in his already impressive career.

Katsidis, 31, fights Burns on Saturday night, England time, at Wembley Arena for the interim WBO lightweight title.

"It is for my third world title, so it is everything," Katsidis told AAP.

Earlier this year, Katsidis ended a long absence from his family home in Australia.

"I have spent six months back home in Australia with the family and that has been really important to me mentally," Katsidis said.

"I think I have done everything I needed to do in the gym. Now it is just a matter of doing the weight. I am in fight mode now."

During his trip home he fought his most recent bout at light welterweight level, against Michael Lozada, who he stopped in the third round of their Gold Coast stoush on August 13.

His return to Toowoomba followed courageous, but costly, losses to Juan Manuel Marquez and Robert Guerrero.

Katsidis intends using his bout against Burns as a step back up to the elite level.

"I fought the absolute best in the world. There was not one of those fights that I did not come within a whisker of winning," Katsidis said.

"I believe all I need is a perfect preparation to blast these guys out of the water. So I feel very, very confident."

Katsidis' career record stands at 28 wins - 23 by knockout - and four losses.

His opponent has fought 34 times for 32 wins, including nine knockouts.

Burns' victories include a WBO super-featherweight points decision over then unbeaten champion Roman Martinez.

But Burns, 28, is under no illusions about what confronts him in his lightweight debut against Katsidis.

"I don't think they could have got me a harder fight if they tried," Burns said.

Katsidis is training at the gym of his former opponent, Graham Earl, going into this week's bout. Katsidis stopped Earl in their 2007 meeting at Wembley.

Burns has also met Earl, who he defeated on points in 2005.

Topics:  michael katsidis


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