Taylor vs Catterall Predictions: Jack can win it for real this time

 | Monday 20th May 2024, 15:39pm

Monday 20th May 2024, 15:39pm

Taylor Catterall 2

Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall finally meet this Saturday, May 25, in a rematch from their controversial 2022 bout. This all-British bruiser takes place at the First Direct Arena in Leeds. DAZN will televise the super lightweight attraction. 

Here are my Taylor vs Catterall predictions ahead of this highly-anticipated rematch.

Taylor vs Catterall Tips

  • Catterall to win @ 8/11
  • Catterall on points @ 7/4

It has been a long and winding road to get here. These two first met in February 2022. That fight, for the undisputed super lightweight title, saw champion Taylor escape with his belts via split decision. But the final bell was only the beginning for this unique rivalry.

Everyone outside of the immediate Taylor circle felt Catterall had done enough to win in Glasgow. They pointed to the fact the bout took place in Taylor’s native Scotland as a possible reason for the controversial scorecards. Taylor, once a symbol of British greatness for his history-making domination of the super lightweight division, was derided on social media for the way he had won.

Taylor did not write those scorecards, of course. He simply fought the fight. But he was left to deal with angry fans, many of whom crossed the line in the brutality of their messages on social media. Boxing can be a life and death sport of course. But the outcome of a set of scorecards, no matter how controversial, is not in that bracket. 

Taylor responded to the threats with his typical bluntness, which inflamed the ill-feeling more. Meanwhile, Catterall’s popularity increased as the perceived uncrowned champion. If this were professional wrestling, our heel and our babyface were clear.

So talk turned to the inevitable rematch. Taylor would eventually sacrifice three of the four belts that comprised his undisputed title to make it happen. But an injury to ‘The Tartan Tornado’ put paid to their originally scheduled date. Fans determined to apply Marvel movie, black-and-white morality to proceedings refused to take this at face value. Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

Each man has fought in the interim. Catterall has picked up decision wins over the overmatched Darragh Foley and the ghost of the great Jorge Linares. Taylor has endured just the one outing, a points loss to the resurgent Teofimo Lopez. That defeat cost him the WBO and The Ring super lightweight titles.

Having spoken of his struggles making the weight before, many expected Taylor to require any Catterall rematch to be made at welterweight or at least a catchweight. But surprisingly, the Scotsman is once again boiling down to 140-pounds for this one. 

Where Taylor stands at the present time is a multi-layered question. He has not fought for 11 months, with the Catterall fight coming 15 months before that. Is ‘The Tartan Tornado’ going to be ring-rusty on Saturday night? His last truly excellent performance came three years ago, when he unified the undisputed title against Jose Ramirez in May 2021. 

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Catterall has looked decent in his outings, but like Taylor his form has not been quite the same since that February 2022 meeting in Glasgow. The Linares fight in particular saw him criticised for failing to stop a faded star who had peaked at lightweight. 

Perhaps the only way these two star-crossed enemies can return to form is by winning this fight. That initial meeting has taken a vast emotional and physical toll on the pair. Taylor left that ring as a fighter no longer taken seriously. Unfairly written off despite his incredible career. 

Catterall has been damned with faint praise. A champion without a belt. Doomed to sit behind the glass, looking at the titles he should have held. Sympathy doesn’t get you championships. No matter what Catterall feels he earned in the first Taylor fight, he has to do it all over again to stay in contention and do it for real.

This is an extremely close one to call. It is always a wonderful thing when a fight like this gets made. Two high-profile boxers with everything to gain and everything to lose. Well-matched, with a bit of needle. Whatever happens, fans are in for a treat on Saturday. 

But my editor won’t accept “everyone will have a lovely time” as a prediction and thus I’m pushed to give you a winner. I believe I have one, too. 

It is my feeling that Taylor is on the slide. ‘The Tartan Tornado’ blows with less force these days. He has fought once a year since 2019. The last of those fights in which he excelled was in 2021. The first fight with Catterall was a poor performance, something even the minority who had Taylor winning would surely concede. He looked a step off against Lopez too. 

I’m backing Catterall to do the necessary here. It will be attritional stuff and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw another decision that triggers fierce debate. But if it is close this time, I almost feel like Catterall will get the benefit of the doubt. Call it a make-good for the first one. If Taylor is going to win he will have to do so beyond all reasonable doubt. Anything less will see him get the short end of the stick.

I’m going for a Catterall win on points at 7/4. I think he’s got more left in the tank than Taylor, who has been involved in some real wars over the years. I feel like this will be a close fight, but that the Manchester man will find a way.

You can find all our latest boxing tips and analysis at our Betfred Insights Boxing page

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