Taylor v Catterall 2 - big-fight predictions

Sat, May 25, 2024
By editor


JOSH Taylor and Jack Catterall meet on Saturday to settle one of the most bitter feuds in boxing.

The fallout from their first fight in February 2022, when Taylor won in highly controversial circumstances, was nasty and the animosity has only grown in the ensuing two years.

Unlike the first fight, there are no world titles on the line but in terms of future career prospects and legacy, the sequel is arguably of even greater significance.

A former holder of all four belts in the light-welterweight division, 33-year-old Taylor must win to put himself back into contention to reclaim one or more of those titles, while Catterall, 30, knows defeat will be a huge blow to his hopes of ever achieving world honours.

The Scotsman suffered his first loss in 19 professional bouts last time out against the American Teofimo Lopez. Catterall has lost just once in 28 fights as a pro – to Taylor in Glasgow.

So will Catterall gain revenge for what many feel was an unjust decision, or will Taylor rediscover his best form to put the rivalry to bed once and for all?

BBC Sport has spoken to a cast of experts from the world of boxing for their predictions.

‘There will be loads of action’

Former two-weight world champion Ricky Hatton: “This is a fight Josh Taylor had to take or he would have lost respect.

“I’m going for Jack Catterall for a late stoppage. I’ve seen them both head-to-head this week and Taylor looked drained at the weight.

“Jack likes to have a look and take his time but I think if he applies pressure Taylor might struggle and get stopped in the later rounds.”

Former WBC world cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew: “This is a defining fight for Josh because losing sets him back two years in my opinion – it really does.

“I just think this is a stylistic match-up that doesn’t really suit him. I think it’s always going to be a hard one.

“Jack Catterall’s style is very unique, very hard to prepare for and he’s a lot more heavy-handed than people give him credit for.”

Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn: “I think Josh will come out really aggressive. Jack picks himself to stop this fight by stoppage and I think this fight will end inside the distance. There will be cuts, there will be knockdowns and loads of action.”

DAZN commentator and former BBC Boxing Correspondent Mike Costello: “There is a danger that Josh Taylor will be remembered as much for controversy as his brilliant achievements.

“I think that source of motivation will give him the edge in another tight fight.”

Former super-welterweight world champion Hannah Rankin: “I’m going with my countryman Josh Taylor to win this one on a late stoppage.

“I think he looks better at the weight than their first encounter and I anticipate him using his size when he’s fully refuelled more to his advantage.

“The animosity between the two is definitely going to add fireworks. This is most emotionally involved we’ve seen Catterall and I can see this making him more reckless to prove a point and potentially walking onto a big shot later in the fight.”

Former super featherweight champion Barry Jones: “At his peak, Josh Taylor was near unstoppable but in the last fight Catterall slowed the pace down and made Taylor look pedestrian at times.

“Catterall can get on his back foot, at his tempo, and pick his shots sharply and neatly.

“Taylor has been my favourite UK fighter in such a long time, but I feel he loses a close and highly competitive 12-round decision.”

Catterall’s coach Jamie Moore: “I’m more confident this time than I was last time. Jack Catterall is a better version of himself now – he’s more experienced, he’s active.

“I think it will be a better fight this time, but Josh Taylor making mistakes will play into Jack’s hands.”

Taylor’s coach Joe McNally: “Josh has got to keep calm. Jack Catterall is a very difficult puzzle to solve. No-one has really done it yet. Can Josh take the puzzle apart?

“It’s not about changing Josh it’s about performing to his best ability. A few pointers, nullify Jack and I think he can come away with a fantastic victory.”

Heavyweight Johnny Fisher: “It’s going to be a great fight with all the history. But I’m backing Jack Catterall, his awkward southpaw stance will be the difference.”

Retired boxer and analyst Stacey Copeland: “I am backing Catterall. With the fuel behind Catterall, channelling all the emotions of that first fight and all the injustice of it, I think potentially we could see a career-best performance from him.”

WBC featherweight champion Skye Nicolson: “I think we’re going to see more aggression from both sides than in the first fight. We’re going to see sharp inside work from Taylor and more work at long range from Catterall.

“It’s one of those fights where you don’t know what’s going to happen until they’re in there but everyone is buzzing for it.”

BBC sport


-May 25, 2024 @ 09:52 GMT|