Michael Katsidis and Brendon Smith prepare to train at Smithy’s Gym earlier this year.
Michael Katsidis and Brendon Smith prepare to train at Smithy’s Gym earlier this year. Kevin Farmer

Katsidis looks to US

MICHAEL Katsidis and trainer-manager Brendon Smith have reflected on their 20-year partnership, during which they scaled the heights of world boxing.

One of Toowoomba's most successful sporting partnerships has come to an end, with Katsidis and Smith parting ways after two decades together.

Katsidis, 31, made the decision to base himself in the United States after losing to Scotland's Ricky Burns earlier this month in London.

He said he had been in talks with Oscar de la Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions about continuing his career in the United States.

Katsidis began training with Smith as an 11-year-old and that partnership took the gritty boxer to the Sydney Olympics and to the WBO lightweight world title twice.

Katsidis established himself as one of the toughest fighters in boxing under Smith.

The pair was training for his title fight against Juan Manuel Marquez in Thailand last year when news came through that Katsidis' brother, champion jockey Stathi, had died.

"It was one of the hardest decisions of my life," Katsidis said of splitting with Smith.

"I first walked in to his tin shed, when it didn't even have a roof, when I was 11 years old.

"For the best part of 20 years we've worked together and we've gone as far as we can go now," he said.

"We've been through everything and the main thing I wanted to get out now I'm ready to comment and the main thing I would say is if anyone wants to get a world title, Brendon is the bloke (to train under)."

Katsidis said there was no ill-will between him and Smith, and that he was excited about the next chapter of his career.

Smith said he didn't see Katsidis' decision coming, but wished his former fighter and his family well.

"I'm very proud in playing a major role in working with Michael in helping him achieve not only one world title but two, and helping him defend those titles in the world (boxing) capital of Vegas," Smith said.

"What an incredible journey we had. It's been a wonderful, tough and enjoyable journey.

"All good things do come to an end."



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