Exclusive: Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall on their hate-fuelled rematch

 | February 21 | 

4 mins read

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Jack Catterall and Josh Taylor will face off again on April 27 in Leeds. Betfred Insights caught up with both men at the second of two vicious press conferences the pair shared this week.

Monday in Glasgow saw Taylor wrap his hand around Catterall’s throat. Tuesday in Manchester played host to Taylor spitting an unrepeatable insult Catterall’s way and another round of near-fisticuffs. ‘Fuelled By Hate’ is the tagline for this one. In a sport that usually oscillates on over-hype, that actually might be an understatement.

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Their first fight, in February 2022, ended with Taylor retaining the undisputed super lightweight title via a controversial split decision. ‘The Tartan Tornado’ has since been stripped of three of those belts and lost the other, leaving this bout as a non-title affair. It is a fact that disappoints Catterall, though he acknowledges it takes nothing away from the size of this fight.

“It’s a funny one. It’s frustrating,” Catterall told us, adding: “That moment has been and gone now, so we can’t think about that.

“This is a big fight without a world title and of course I want to be a world champion, but on the flipside I want to be involved in big fights. 

“I’d love it to be for a title or an eliminator for a world title but more than that, I’m excited to lock horns and put this rivalry to bed.”

Taylor lost his last fight, sacrificing the WBO championship to Teofimo Lopez in June 2023. Catterall thinks the impact of his own tough fight with Taylor cannot be discounted when assessing where the Scot is now in his career.

“I’d be the first to say that he’s had a great career and won all these titles because that’s amazing. I don’t think he overlooked me, but the fight put miles on the clock and I do think he’s over the hill now, slightly. Nevertheless, I will be preparing for the best version of him, but I do believe he’s touched the ceiling and he’s coming back down.”

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Given the public enmity between these two warriors, it is perhaps unsurprising to hear that Taylor’s assessment of Catterall is equally scathing. When asked about his opponent’s previous fight, a unanimous decision over Jorge Linares, ‘The Tartan Tornado’ didn’t hold back.

“I don’t think he did anything different at all. I’ve been watching him, but I’m not overly interested at all. I know that his tactics last time were to slow the pace down and spoil me, but he can’t get away with that this time because it never worked last time and the judges didn’t like it. The judges didn’t like his tactics, especially in the championship rounds. He has to change it around this time.”

Given the visceral reception at the two press conferences and the two years of festering hatred, Taylor vs Catterall II is set to be one of the biggest fights of the year. Former undisputed champion Taylor believes it will eclipse their first bout.

“I think it’s a bigger fight, absolutely. Regardless of titles, if it’s a big fight, it’s a big fight and at the end of the day, all the fans want to see is good, entertaining, competitive fights, knock outs and bad blood. This time around, I think the fight is definitely bigger. 

“This is why they should pay big fight wages because it’s a prize fighting business and I’m not going to fight for less money when I know there’s more money on the table.”

As for a result, Taylor is confident he can repeat the trick and secure his second win over Catterall. While many observers felt he lost last time, the Scottish star has never wavered. We’ll give Taylor the last word as he offers up his April prediction.

“Just a Josh Taylor win, as always. At my best, I can beat any fighter on the planet and I believe me at 80 percent smokes Jack. It’s down to me to prepare well and it’s all about the preparation and getting it right on the night. Just a Josh Taylor win, I have no doubts in my mind.”

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