Challenger Jack Catterall is hardly a household name in boxing circles, though he’s undefeated in 26 fights. He’s also ranked number one in the junior welterweight division by the WBO. He’s been in that spot for over three years.
Catterall will get his chance to show the naysayers who he is when he fights undisputed junior welterweight champion, Josh Taylor, at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland, February 26.
He says he’s ready.
“I believe that I’ve got a better defense than a lot of the fighters he’s boxed,” Catterall told Tom Gray of The Ring. “My timing; my speed is underrated, my reactions. But, ultimately, the best Jack Catterall is a different fighter from your Prograis, your Ramirez, your (Viktor) Postols. I’m a different challenge for Josh by just being me.”
Taylor is of aware of Catterall.
“He’s a good fighter,” said Taylor to Alexander Netherton of DAZN News. “I’ve got a lot of respect for Jack. But he will come up short. He will taste his first defeat as a professional.
“He just isn’t as good as I am. It is a step up in class for him because he hasn’t boxed at the level that I have. He is a talented fighter but he hasn’t got what it takes to beat me.”
Taylor has a point. Catterall has never faced an opponent with Taylor’s all-around abilities. Catterall can punch a little (13 KOs) but is also coming off a lengthy layoff.
Catterall, who began boxing at 10, has paid his dues. After a successful amateur career, he turned pro in 2012. He fought often – capturing the WBO Inter-Continental 11 fights into his campaign. Six bouts later, he picked up the British light-welterweight title by decisioning Tyrone Nurse. Three more successful defenses of his WBO crown suggested a world title shot was forthcoming. It was, then it wasn’t. Announced fights against either champion Maurice Hooker, or Jose Ramirez, never materialized. Carrell excepted step-aside money to allow Ramirez to meet Taylor with an agreement in place that the winner would fight Catterall. A fight with Taylor was proposed for last December, but postponed when Taylor sustained an injury during training.
February 26 was chosen as the new date. Catterall’s patience had paid off.
But can he deliver?
Taylor, 31, who won gold at the Commonwealth Games in 2014, has had star appeal all of his boxing life. In only his 12th professional fight, he defeated former champion, Victor Postol. In 2018, he entered and won the World Boxing Light Welterweight tournament by defeating contender Ryan Martin, and campions Ivan Baranchyk, and in a thriller, Regis Prograis. His victory over Ramirez last year cemented the Scottish native’s place as a top fighter.
He’ll bring a three-inch height advantage into the ring against Catterall. His experience in big fights is also substantial. He can box or slug. Catterall has nothing to lose and will lay it on the line, but there are levels in boxing.
For the latest odds on Catterall go here.
Taylor is the better fighter. His hometown crowd will inspire him.
I see him winning by stoppage.
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