‘I’m sick of looking at you already,’ Josh Taylor tells challenger Jack Catterall in tense staredown

The unbeaten pair will clash in Glasgow next February, as undisputed light welterweight champion Taylor defends all his belts on home turf

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Tuesday 07 December 2021 18:02
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Josh Taylor stares down Jack Catterall ahead of their undisputed title fight.mp4

Josh Taylor said he sees Jack Catterall as “the enemy” ahead of his title defence against the Englishman next year.

Undisputed light welterweight champion Taylor will put all of his belts on the line on 26 February, when he faces Catterall on home turf in Glasgow, Scotland.

The undefeated southpaws faced off at a press conference on Tuesday, a week before the original date for their title showdown.

An injury to Taylor (18-0, 13 knockouts) forced the bout to be postponed, but the 30-year-old seemed to be in good health and good spirits on Tuesday as he discussed the upcoming fight and his 28-year-old opponent.

“He’s a very good fighter, he's been knocking on the door for world titles for a couple years now,” Taylor said of Catterall (26-0, 13 KOs).

“He stepped aside to let me fight [Jose] Ramirez, but it wasn’t all out of the good of his heart. He knows by stepping aside he gets a shot at all the belts, at the lottery.

“It’s my job to make sure he doesn’t get anywhere near it, and he won’t [...] If the fight were next week, I’d be ready.

Taylor has held the WBA and IBF light welterweight titles since 2019 and added the WBC and WBO belts by beating Ramirez via unanimous decision this May, in his most recent bout.

Catterall, meanwhile, last fought in November 2020. The Chorley-born fighter was the mandatory challenger to Taylor’s WBO title but stepped aside to let the Scot box Ramirez.

As such, Catterall will now get a shot at all four of Taylor’s belts when they fight in February.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for Jack, he knows that, but as for now: He’s my enemy, I hate his guts,” Taylor said.

“He’s a great guy, but we put the fondness aside now.”

Catterall admitted that his decision to allow Taylor to fight Ramirez first was “business”-related, adding: “I’ve beat everybody domestically. I’ve been reaching for this shot for over two years now.

Josh Taylor beat Jose Ramirez via unanimous decision this May

“We’ve been studying Josh, I was over there for the Ramirez fight. I was supporting Josh for this fight to be made.

“There’s certain stuff we can work on and implement to beat Josh [...] Everything’s got to go right.

“I’ve been working towards this fight pretty much all year. I win by turning up in Glasgow on 26 February and being Jack Catterall.”

Each fighter was hesitant to guarantee a knockout of his opponent, with Taylor simply saying: “If the stoppage is there, I’ll take it.

“I’m a good finisher when someone’s hurt, but I’m not gonna go looking for it.”

Similarly, Catterall said: “If I stop Josh, happy days; if I win on points, all good.”

While indifferent as to the means of victory, Catterall said he is confident of securing the win and taking the titles home to Chorley.

“Keep dreaming,” Taylor responded, before telling his challenger during their final face-off: “I’m getting sick of looking at your face already.”

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