Jack Catterall cannot wait to prove that the completely competitive nature of his first fight with Josh Taylor wasn’t at all the byproduct of Taylor underestimating him.
Taylor told IFL TV during a recent interview that he overlooked Catterall and performed accordingly during their 12-round, 140-pound title fight in February 2022 at OVO Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. The Scottish southpaw won their bout by split decision, yet he has dealt for nearly two years with backlash from factions of fans, Catterall and his rival’s team regarding the official outcome of their fight for Taylor’s IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO titles.
England’s Catterall thought their rematch would’ve happened long ago, but he expressed optimism regarding their handlers reaching an agreement soon for he and Taylor to fight again in “March, April.” The skillful southpaw also acknowledged that it has been difficult for him to wait almost two years for this 12-round rematch during his own interview with IFL TV, which was posted to the outlet’s YouTube channel Saturday.
“It’s frustrating,” Catterall said, “but again, I can only control my variables, which is being ready, being in the gym and doing me best to put me self in a best position for all these big fights. But I think second time around, I think a fight between us needs to happen. When I do put him to bed, it does cement me place with the top boys at 140, to go and fight [Teofimo] Lopez, to go and fight [Devin] Haney, [Ryan] Garcia, etcetera. It’s a fight that needs to happen, and it’s a fight that needs to happen now.”
Catterall (28-1, 13 KOs) also admitted that he has grown weary from exchanging trash talk with Taylor (19-1, 13 KOs). Understandably tired of debating the controversial result of their fight with Taylor, who won a split decision, the typically cordial Catterall is focused on delivering a more convincing performance in their rematch, assuming their representatives complete a deal for it.
“It kind of bores me now,” Catterall said of the ongoing debate about their first fight. “It’s been going back and forth, but it’s still capturing the public’s imagination. Everybody’s still interested in the fight, but it needs to happen now. March, April is when me and Josh have accepted the fight. And I just can’t wait to smash his head in and be done with it all. I’ve been in Dubai a couple weeks now, training, and getting stopped by people and they’re still talking about the first fight, which is coming up [on] two years ago. So, for me, I need to put him to bed.”
Taylor, 33, and Catterall, 30, were scheduled to fight again last March 4 at OVO Hydro, the same venue where Taylor edged Catterall on the scorecards. Their rematch was postponed late last January because Taylor sustained a foot injury while training.
Taylor-Catterall II wasn’t rescheduled last year because the WBO ordered Taylor to instead make a mandated defense of its 140-pound championship against Teofimo Lopez. A motivated, sharp Lopez (19-1, 13 KOs) upset Taylor by unanimous decision June 10 in The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.