Josh Taylor promises ‘barnstormer’ rematch with Jack Catterall after initial ‘stinker’

Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall have promised a much better fight than their initial encounter when they clash on Saturday.

Taylor won a controversial decision against Catterall in February 2022, retaining the undisputed super-lightweight titles on home turf in Scotland.

After numerous delays, most recently when Taylor suffered an injury in March, the pair will finally collide again this weekend, with England’s Catterall holding the home advantage this time.

There will be no world titles up for grabs in Leeds; Taylor vacated and was stripped of three of his belts in 2022, before dropping the final strap to Teofimo Lopez in June. However, pride is on the line as Taylor and Catterall look to deliver a less scrappy fight than their first bout.

“I watched the first fight, I didn’t rate it that much,” Catterall said at a press conference on Thursday (23 May). “I thought I beat him and I beat him comfortably, [but] I think I underperformed. Maybe Josh did as well, but we’ve prepared for the best version of Josh.

“I feel like, over these last two years, I’ve improved as a fighter. I expect a better fight Saturday. Emotions aside, I think I’m the better fighter, and I’m gonna show that. It’s a must-win, that’s where all my energy’s focused to, I don’t wanna talk about what’s after this.”

Catterall, who has fought and won twice since suffering his first professional loss against Taylor, also doubled down on his prediction of a stoppage between rounds seven and nine. “I’m standing on it, 100 per cent,” he said. “I think I can take him out.”

Taylor played down that suggestion, while vowing to bounce back from his loss to Lopez – his first pro defeat. “I’m looking forward to proving that the last time was just an off night,” the Scot said.

“Look at the history of boxing, all the great fighters of the past have taken defeats and come back and won world titles again. Just because you take one defeat, doesn’t mean you’re a finished fighter. I think that’s where boxing’s taken a turn for the worst.

Taylor (left) and Catterall at the final press conference for their rematch (Tim Markland/PA Wire)
Taylor (left) and Catterall at the final press conference for their rematch (Tim Markland/PA Wire)

“It’s been a long two years with the delays, the injuries, and stuff like that, but my health comes first. My health is paramount.

“The last fight was a stinker from the both of us. Jack [was] doing a lot of holding and spoiling, slowing the pace down; I was very poor as well. I believe the two of us can be a lot better, and it’ll be a better fight for the fans. I feel it’s gonna be a great fight, a barnstormer.

“Let him think that [he’ll stop me]. If he wants to do that, great. Absolutely fantastic, music to my ears. I don’t really care how I win this fight. The way I’ve been performing in the gym, if I catch him with these shots, it’ll be over – it’ll really be devastating for him.”