Juan Manuel Marquez accepts deal to fight Michael Katsidis in Las Vegas on Nov. 27

By Greg Beacham, AP
Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Juan Manuel Marquez accepts deal to fight Katsidis

LOS ANGELES — Lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez has agreed to fight Michael Katsidis at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas on Nov. 27.

Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer said Marquez has accepted the terms of a deal to defend his WBO belt against Katsidis, the all-action Australian slugger.

Schaefer outlined a busy fall for his company’s fighters during a workout in Hollywood on Wednesday by Sugar Shane Mosley, who will meet Sergio Mora at Staples Center on Sept. 18.

Marquez (51-5-1, 37 KOs) generally is considered Mexico’s top boxer. He decisively won a rematch with Juan Diaz on July 31 in his first fight since losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. last year.

After failing to interest Manny Pacquiao in a third fight, Marquez agreed to a mandatory title defense against Katsidis (27-2, 22 KOs), who has revitalized his career with four straight victories following back-to-back losses to Joel Casamayor and Diaz.

“It’s just a matter of getting it papered up,” Schaefer said, promising another significant fight on the Thanksgiving weekend card. “It’s a great challenge for Juan, and a very interesting fight for fans.”

Schaefer confirmed Bernard Hopkins has agreed to fight WBC light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal in Quebec City on Dec. 18. The 45-year-old Hopkins will return to the ring for the first time since beating Roy Jones Jr. last spring to take on Pascal, the Haitian-born Canadian who upset Chad Dawson last month.

Schaefer also submitted an offer earlier this week to WBA 140-pound champion Amir Khan to face Marcos Maidana on Dec. 11.

Khan is a popular British fighter hoping to take over the crowded junior welterweight division, while Maidana is a dangerous Argentine fighter whose recent career has been slowed by management problems. Maidana beat DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley in Buenos Aires last weekend.

If Khan accepts the deal, Schaefer said the fighters would meet Dec. 11 in either Las Vegas or Detroit, which has a sizable Muslim population. Khan made his U.S. debut in May with an 11th-round stoppage of Paulie Malignaggi in New York, but the 2004 Olympic star has been outspoken in his desire to fight in Las Vegas.

Golden Boy also plans to stage a card in Austin, Texas, on Nov. 6, featuring the comeback of unbeaten 154-pounder James Kirkland, who is expected to be released from prison later this month. Kirkland (25-0, 22 KOs) has served nearly 16 months after pleading guilty to a charge of gun possession by a convicted felon.

Bay Area lightweight Robert Guerrero (27-1, 18 KOs), who outpointed Casamayor on July 31, is expected to fight on the Austin card, Schaefer said.

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