Marquez Stops Katsidis to Keep WBA Lightweight Title

Article excerpt

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (AFP) - Juan Manuel Marquez stopped Michael Katsidis in the ninth round to retain his World Boxing Association and World Boxing Organization lightweight titles.Mexico's Marquez regrouped after an early knockdown and punished the Australian challenger in the ninth. After Katsidis was hurt by a series of combinations referee Kenny Bayless called a halt for the technical knockout at 2:14 of the round."We worked really hard for this fight, and I could tell my body shots were wearing him down," said the 37-year-old champion, who improved to 52-5 with one draw and 38 knockoutsAfter eight rounds, the three judges had Marquez leading, 78-74, 76-75, 77-74. Katsidis had knocked down Marquez with a left hook in the third."I was surprised by his left hand," Marquez admitted. "I didn't protect myself and I got caught. I knew how to manage the fight with my combinations and conditioning. That's why I got up so quickly after I got knocked down."Katsidis, who was taken to hospital as a precaution after the fight, said he remained wary of the Mexican veteran even after the knockdown."I always knew it was in the cards to knock him down," said Katsidis, who fell to 27-3 with 22 knockouts. "But this is boxing and he is a very experienced fighter. …