Jack Catterall: It’s personal with Josh Taylor, I believe I won first fight

Jack Catterall faces old rival Josh Taylor in Leeds, England

Jack Catterall goes up against his old rival Josh Taylor on Saturday, May 25 at First Direct Arena in Leeds, England. At an open workout held during the fight week, the athletes showed off their skills to fans and the media, and previewed their upcoming rematch.

Their first fight took place in Glasgow, Scotland in February 2022. Going through the ropes in front of his home country crowd, then undisputed super lightweight champion Taylor took the victory against English challenger Catterall by split decision. The fight saw Taylor going down in the eighth round and getting a point deducted in the 11th round for punching after the bell. Catterall lost a point in the 10th round for holding. The scores were 114-111, 113-112 and 112-113.

Catterall (28-1, 13 KOs) returned to winning ways with the victory by unanimous decision against Darragh Foley last May. In his previous outing last October, the 30-year-old southpaw similarly defeated Jorge Linares. The Chorley, Lancashire native said he aspired to become world champion.

“Ultimately, the public have been banging on about the rematch, the boxing fans, everyone was asking me about it every day of the week,” Jack Catterall said. “In the back of my mind I knew this fight was eventually going to happen, but we’re here now. Weight is good, everything is good. I take confidence from how hard I have worked in the gym. For me, these next couple of days are about being selfish, spending time with my team, switching off and when it’s time to go to work in the dressing room I’ll flick that switch and we’ll be ready.”

“We saw each other last night at the First Face Off and there wasn’t a word spoken from him. We’ll see, it might change as he’s making weight and I’m making weight at the weigh-in on Friday, but right now he’s not got much to say. I think we’re both focused on the job. For me it’s personal with Josh. It’s a fight that I believe I won. I’m excited to put that right. I still have goals and aspirations of becoming a world champion, but one step at a time. We’ve got a big fight on Saturday and that’s all I’m focused on.”

Josh Taylor: This is a completely new fight

Taylor (19-1, 13 KOs) was in action last June in New York, where he dropped a unanimous decision against Teofimo Lopez and lost world title. The 33-year-old southpaw of Edinburgh, Scotland said he had learned his lessons and was taking his next fight seriously.

Josh Taylor primed for Jack Catterall rematch
Josh Taylor during an open workout ahead of his rematch against Jack Catterall at First Direct Arena in Leeds, England on May 25, 2024 | Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

“We’re finally here. It’s been a long time coming. I’m looking forward to it now. I’ve had a lot of stick but I’ve never taken it personal, but I will be taking it out on Jack on Saturday night. It’s just another boxing match. Forget the last fight, forget everything else that has gone on – this is a completely new fight. New fight, new circumstances. No belt on the line. Yes, there’s some beef there but listen, I’m a consummate professional and I’m enjoying fight week. I can’t wait to get in there on Saturday.”

“We’re taking him more seriously for a start. That was the biggest mistake I ever made. The first lesson in the art of warfare is never underestimate your opponent, and that’s what I done last time massively. I almost paid the price for it. I’m not doing that this time. He gave me a tough fight last time and I had to dig deep. I know what I’ve got in front of me now and I know the threat that is there now so I’m taking it seriously. I’ve made sure that I’ve covered all bases in training camp this time and I’m feeling good.”

In the feature on the card, Irish southpaw Paddy Donovan (13-0, 10 KOs) takes on British Lewis Ritson (23-3, 13 KOs) at welterweight. Among Taylor vs Catterall 2 undercard bouts, Cheavon Clarke (8-0, 6 KOs) and Ellis Zorro (17-1, 7 KOs) clash for the vacant British cruiserweight title. Plus, Gary Cully (17-1, 10 KOs) of Ireland and Francesco Patera (29-4, 11 KOs) of Belgium meet at lightweight.

Parviz Iskenderov
Parviz Iskenderov is a former Muay Thai fighter, sports manager and editor at FIGHTMAG.

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