Josh Taylor Dismisses Challenge Of ‘Nearly-Man’ Jack Catterall Ahead Of Rematch

May 10, 2024
1 week
Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall will settle their rivalry on May 25

Former super-lightweight world champion Josh Taylor says a much-improved performance will see him comfortably defeat rival Jack Catterall in their rematch later this month.

Taylor (19-1-0 13 KO) faces Catterall (28-1-0 13 KO) in Leeds, England on May 25 in a long-awaited rematch, more than two years after their controversial first bout.

Scotland’s Taylor won their first fight in February 2022 via split decision, although many observers believed Catterall won by several rounds. Initial attempts to arrange a rematch fell through after Taylor sustained an injury. Once the second fight was booked for April 27, it was pushed back due to Taylor’s slow recovery from an eye procedure.

Finally, the fight is on the horizon and while conceding that he was not at his best in the first bout, Taylor insists he will prove there is a difference in level between him and Catterall in the rematch.

When asked if he thought he was a better fighter than Catterall, Taylor said during the Face Off organized by Matchroom: “I think it’s pretty evident. It’s pretty obvious from my previous performances and titles and accolades. I’ve done 100 things better.

Taylor ‘On The Decline’

“I think his style and the way he boxes — does just enough to try and win — the other guys coming into the division now are good fighters and they take care of him no problem. I don’t think he’ll become a world champion. He’ll be the nearly-man in British boxing.”

There is no denying that Taylor’s achievements far outweigh Catterall’s. The Scot became the first British fighter in the four-belt era to become an undisputed champion after holding all four titles in the super-lightweight division.

While Taylor has fought six world title fights, Catterall’s only appearance at that level was his defeat to his rival two years ago. However, in Taylor’s most recent fight, he was completely outclassed by Teofimo Lopez in June last year for his first career defeat.

With the loss to Lopez and his unconvincing display against Catterall in his last two bouts, there have been suggestions that Taylor is past his best – and his English rival is convinced that is the case.

“I believe he’s touched his ceiling and he’s on the decline,” Catterall said. “Make no mistake, I’ll be preparing for the best version of him but do I think he’s reached his peak? I do.”

No Hatred Between Taylor and Catterall

The animosity between the pair has grown since their first fight, with the anger boiling over several times during the press conferences to promote the rematch.

However, both Taylor and Catterall insist that while they will never be best friends, the fight is all about business.

“There’s no hate. I don’t hate him, I don’t know him to hate him,” Taylor said. “But he’s said a lot of things through the years, it’s created a little bit of dislike. It’s not a guy I’m going to sit and go for a pint with. He doesn’t like me, I don’t like him, so purely business for me.”

Catterall agreed: “Hate is a strong word but we’re two different characters, and there’s this whole narrative about England vs Scotland.

“Yeah, it’s a good rivalry and it gets the juices flowing but it’s just me versus Josh and I don’t think he’s a nice guy, he’s not somebody I’d shake hands and go have a pint with. We don’t see eye to eye, we’re not friends and we’re going to fight and that’s what I’m most excited for — to be able to glove up and dust him in.”