Who wins tonight’s clash of unbeaten 140 pounders? Defending four-belt champ Josh Taylor is a big favourite to win, and we can all understand why. But Catterall is no mug, far from it, and the term “live underdog” springs to mind here. Postponed last year, this fight is now upon us.
Taylor-Catterall and undercard fights — at OVO Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland — will stream Saturday live and exclusively on ESPN+ in the United States (2 p.m. ET)
Taylor, a superb fighter who will be making the first defence of the four belts he won when he defeated Jose Carlos Ramirez to add the IBF and WBO titles to his WBA and WBC straps, is a pound-for-pound entrant on some lists. Perfect at 18-0(13) the 31-year-old southpaw has said he will stop Caterrall; that he will “put him on his back.” However, Catterall is unbeaten himself at 26-0(13) and the 28-year-old from Chorley, Lancashire is also a southpaw. Catterall believes he has gotten under Taylor’s skin and that his cooler head will prevail in a tough and hard fight tonight.
It’s an interesting fight for sure, and it may turn out to be a significantly tougher homecoming fight for Taylor than some people perhaps think. Catterall is a skilled boxer and he has scored good wins over the likes of Tyrone Nurse, Tyrone McKenna and Ohara Davies. And Catterall, who agreed to step aside to allow Taylor to fight Ramirez, has been waiting for his big chance and he is hungry. This is no easy or safe fight for Taylor, who will have the enormous carrot/slice of motivation that is a possible super-fight with Terence Crawford at stake.
It is tough to picture Taylor losing, so excellent was he against Ramirez, so on top of his game and at his peak as he is. But again, this one should prove to be a good fight. Can Taylor stop Catterall, or will “El Gato” extend Taylor? Or maybe you are picking the upset?
Catterall has not been active, fighting just once since November of 2019, when he decisioned Abderrazak Houya in November of the following year, therefore he will have been out of the ring for almost a full year by the time he challenges Taylor and may be battling rust tonight.
That said, and basically going out on a limb and nothing more, I’m picking Catterall to pull off the stunner tonight. Catterall by close, perhaps controversial, split decision.