Things ended on a heated note in London today as the UK press tour for February’s showdown between undisputed super-lightweight champion Josh Taylor (18-0, 13 KO’s) and challenger Jack Catterall (26-0, 13 KO’s) concluded in the nation’s capital.
Taylor, generally not given to outbursts, was provoked when Catterall told press conference host Adam Smith, Sky Sports Head of Boxing Development, that he saw “several ways” to beat Taylor in Glasgow in February.
“How? In what way? How are you going to do it?” snapped Taylor.
“There’s several ways,” replied Catterall.
“Go on, how? Tell me one,” said Taylor, fixing Catterall with a stare.
“By turning up and being Jack Catterall. I’ll get in there and punch your head in!” said the challenger.
“You’ll punch my head in? Easy as that!?” scoffed Taylor.
“Well it won’t be easy, but I’m going to,” shrugged Catterall.
Taylor shook his head and laughed. “Go back to bed.”
The two fighters have long been on friendly terms and Catterall actually traveled out to Las Vegas to support Taylor in his title unification fight against Jose Ramirez earlier this year. But all cordial relations are being put aside while the two are on collision course for their collision on Saturday, February 26 at the OVO Hydro Arena, Glasgow.
JOSH TAYLOR QUOTES
On facing a fighter he’s on friendly terms with:
It’s easy for me to flick that switch. If you said go and fight him right now, I’d do it. Easy as pie for me to switch the mentality into fight mode. I have a lot of time for Jack, he’s a good person and a good fighter, but it’s time to put the friendship and the respect aside until after the fight. May the best man win. I just believe on the night he’s not getting anywhere near me. “
On the possibility of stopping the undefeated Catterall:
I definitely believe I can get Jack out of there, 100%, especially if I hit him clean. I see a lot of holes in his game and his defence. If the opportunity is there I will be taking it – you don’t get paid overtime in this game. If the opportunity is there, he will be hitting the canvas. I can’t see any ways he can win this fight.
On the possibility of Catterall taking the belts:
I am laser-focused on this fight and he’s not getting anywhere near these belts. He can have a hold of them today if he likes, but that’s as close he’s getting.
JACK CATTERALL QUOTES
On how he will win:
There’s several ways I can win this fight. [I’ll win] by turning up and being Jack Catterall. I’ll get in there and punch [his] head in.
On what the fight means to him:
It’s going to mean everything to me. Not just this 12-week fight camp but the last couple of years of training and discipline, it’s all going to come together to cause an upset. I am convinced I will win.
On facing a fighter he’s on friendly terms with:
Respect is there as Josh said but as fighters we have to switch that on. It’s a business and we’re here to bring the heat in January.
Photos, Quotes: Heated end to Taylor-Catterall press tour
The highly-anticipated clash between undisputed super-lightweight champion Taylor and mandatory challenger Catterall will take place Saturday, February 26 at the OVO Hydro Arena, Glasgow.
Taylor – who holds the WBA, IBF, WBC and WBO world titles – is one of only five boxers in history have ever managed to achieve undisputed world champion status in the “four-belt” era – the other four being all-time greats Bernard Hopkins, Jermaine Taylor, Terence Crawford and Oleksandr Usyk.
Taylor is the first British fighter ever to do so, which makes his meeting with mandatory challenger Catterall in February a landmark moment in British and Scottish sporting history and a deeply significant occasion for proud Scotsman Taylor.
“Since I was 15 years old I dreamed of being a world champion. I’ve surpassed those dreams by becoming the UK’s first undisputed champion and the full belt holder. So it’s a massive, massive moment for me to defend these belts in Scotland against Jack Catterall.
“I’m excited to be back in Scotland. It’s the first time I’ve boxed at home in just over two years and Glasgow Hydro Arena is a cauldron, the fans make a hell of an atmosphere so I’m really looking forward to that.
“Jack Catterall is a very good fighter. He’s 26-0, he’s been knocking on the door for world titles for a couple of years now. He stepped aside to let me fight Ramirez but it wasn’t from the goodness of his heart – there was method in the madness. By stepping aside, he’s able to now get a crack at all the titles. I’ve worked my backside off to achieve these goals, beat champion after champion. This guy is getting a shot at the lottery here. It’s my job to make sure that he doesn’t get anywhere these belts – and he won’t.”
BEN DAVIDSON (Trainer, Taylor)
“Preparation preparation is key and I believe that if Josh prepares 100% and gets in the ring 100% on the night then this is a potential showcase for him, which is exactly what he’s looking for in his homecoming.
“But like any achievement you have to work for it, you have to earn it and give 100% focus and give Jack the respect he deserves. If Josh gets it right on the night it’s a potential showcase performance that propels his profile to the level it deserves to be.”
“To win this fight will mean the world to me and to come to Scotland and do it in front of Josh’s own fans I think adds energy to the fight, so I’m just excited to get up there and take all these belts back down to England. Josh has seen all the styles there is, but he’s never fought Jack Catterall. I believe on my day I can beat Josh.”
NIGEL TRAVIS (Trainer, Catterall)
“Jack’s very special. We know that the battle ahead is going to be tough but I feel that Jack has the style to undo Josh Taylor. Obviously he’s got a fantastic achievement [in becoming unified champion]. It’s our job to undo that and we believe we can do it. I don’t think we’ve seen the best of Jack Catterall yet.”