As everyone expected would happen, former world title challenger Michael Katsidis (30-6, 24 KO’s) had too much in the tank tonight in easily defeating 35-year-old Graham Earl (26-5, 12 KO’s) by a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision on Friday night at the Rumours International, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. The final judges’ scores were 119-108, 120-108 and 120-109.
Katsidis immediately charged Earl at the opening bell and crowded him on the inside where he lashed him with punches to the head and body. Earl fired back with bombs, but he lacked the power and the punching room to get anything on his shots.
In rounds 2-6, Katsidis continued to stay close to Earl and hammer him to the head and body.
Earl tried to use movement to stay on the outside away from Katsidis, but this plan failed to work as Katsidis cut the ring off on him each time. Earl did the best that he could at trying to beat Katsidis at his own game by slugging it out with him on the inside, but he just couldn’t get anything on his shots.
In the second half of the fight, Earl looked exhausted and beaten in taking some tremendous punishment from Katsidis. To his credit, he didn’t take the easy way out by quitting on his stool or taking a knee, but he probably should have. Katsidis really pounded Earl in the last 6 rounds, especially in rounds 9-12. Earl looked exhausted and very much beaten fighter at that point. He was held up by courage alone in taking a one-way punishment until the bitter end.
For Earl, this was his first fight in 5 years, and it was so, so predictable that he would lose the fight given the time off from boxing, the lack of a tune-up fight, his advanced age, and the fact that his career was over when he retired from boxing in 2009. He had lost 3 out of his last 4 fights when he stepped away from the sport back then, and it was so obvious that he was going to be beaten by Katsidis, not that the Australian fighter is a great talent at this point in his career. Katsidis is up there in age at 33, and not even close to being where the top fighters are at 140. He proved tonight that he can beat Earl, but that’s all he proved,