As fans know, Josh Taylor will finally face Jack Catterall in a return meeting of their hugely controversial February 2022 fight, this next February, at the Hydro Arena in Glasgow (the scene of the first fight). And this time, Taylor – who was awarded a contentious split decision win over Catterall in what was described by some as one of the worst they have seen in a long while – is determined to make it a different story.
A unified, four-belt defending 140-pound champion on the night of February 26th, 2022, Taylor has since vacated three of those belts, leaving the unbeaten Scot with just the WBO title (as well as The Ring Magazine belt). Taylor has been badly stung by the criticism he received from boxing experts after the Catterall fight, and with a comprehensive win, Taylor will, he told The Edinburgh Evening News, flat-out refuse to accept friendly advances from those experts who wrote such bad things about him.
Taylor, 19-0(13), is also vowing to KO the 26-1(13) Catterall this time, so as to leave no doubts.
“When I win this fight and all the so-called top boxing pundits, the outlets, want to be your friend again, they can all get to France as far as I’m concerned,” Taylor said. “They showed who they wanted to win the fight with all their bias. After the fight, it was all ‘Jack this and Jack that’ but I’m still the champion, and I’ve heard nothing from anyone, and the stuff they have written about me, they’ve really shown their true colors. It’s a grudge match. It’s become personal with the things that have been said since the fight with Jack moaning about corruption and all this s**t. There’s a bit of needle there, so I’m going to get in the ring and knock him out this time.”
But can Taylor score an emphatic KO, one he never came close to scoring in the first fight? It has been asked, did Taylor merely have a very bad night while fellow southpaw Catterall had a very good night, the best of his entire career? Maybe, and maybe Taylor, who may have struggled mightily to make weight ahead of fight-one, will be at his best in the return. It’s a fascinating rematch, and it is hoped that this time, whoever wins, the right man’s hand, the deserving man’s hand, will be raised.
Hardly anyone had Taylor winning fight-one, and Catterall was deemed hugely unlucky not to have walked away with four world title belts in his possession. That can no longer happen for Catterall, but he has, at last, got the rematch he so richly deserves. Some fans have grumbled about the fact that the sequel will also take place at The Hydro in Glasgow, this where, due to the huge pro-Taylor crowd, the judges were said to have been guilty of being swayed Taylor’s way in fight-one.
Maybe a neutral venue would have been a good idea. But Catterall of Chorley will have to face Taylor inside that hostile arena all over again. Who gets the win this time?