Josh Taylor promised Jack Catterall is in for a long and painful night when the pair finally square off on Saturday night as the undefeated British rivals came face-to-face at Thursday’s pre-fight press conference.
The ‘Tartan Tornado’ returns to Glasgow for the first time since 2019, making his first defence since becoming undisputed super-lightweight with a historic victory over Jose Carlos Ramirez last year.
Standing in his way of an enticing move to welterweight, where the likes of Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr await, is a respectful but confident Catterall, the mandatory challenger to his WBO belt, who insists he will meet the champion centre-ring on fight night.
Josh Taylor (left) and Jack Catterall (right) go head-to-head in Glasgow on Saturday night
Undisputed champion Taylor will put his full collection of super-lightweight belts on the line
Taylor (18-0) has admitted on several occasions that he has nothing left to prove at 140lbs with the prospect of becoming a two-weight world champion his next venture.
The Scot, who insists on Saturday he won’t fight on emotion – as he did in his last bout against a southpaw, Regis Prograis – has assured he has relinquished all thoughts of any future conquests, however, with his eyes firmly on Catterall.
Asked about potential bouts against the likes of Crawford, Taylor interjected, telling Sky Sports: ‘Don’t be talking about that, it’s Jack on Saturday. It’s his turn next.
‘It’s his turn to get the beating on Saturday which I’m going to dish out. All I’m thinking about is Jack Catterall. He’s standing in my way of doing other things.
‘He’s here to take away what I worked so hard to get. I’ve cleaned out the division, did it the hard way. He’s getting a shot at the jackpot in one fight and I’m going to put him in his place on Saturday.’
Having become the first British undisputed champion in the four-belt era with his famous victory last year – a bout which took place after Catterall, mandatory to Ramirez’s belt, stepped aside – Taylor comes into the fight as the overwhelming favourite.
The Scot insisted he’s better than his impending opponent in every department during an intense Gloves Are Off episode, and the champion once again confidently assured he’s levels above the Englishman.
Asked just how good Catterall is, Taylor said: ‘He’s good but we’ll find out on Saturday. He’s in for a long, painful, methodical beat down.
‘It’s about levels. He does things well but I’m fully prepared for what he does. He makes so many mistakes and he’s in for a long night on Saturday.’
Taylor insisted there’s nothing within Catterall’s arsenal that will enable him to win the fight
The Scot made history by becoming undisputed champion with victory over Jose Carlos Ramirez, a bout Catterall attended
Catterall meanwhile insisted he’s now finally got the match-up he’s been longing for. Having stepped aside from his own bout against Ramirez, the Englishman now has the opportunity to fight for all of the belts, rather than just the WBA and IBF straps.
‘Josh will tell you I was there in his room after the fight congratulating him. I went there on my own, Jamie (Moore) came a week later for Chantelle Cameron’s fight.
‘I was team Josh that week, I wanted him to win the right, hoping that this week I could be sat here challenging the top boy in the division.’
He continued: ‘I’ve not just come here to make up the numbers. I’ve been in the gym working continuously for the last 18 months to two years for this opportunity.’
Tensions certainly heated when the pair then went face-to-face as both fighters exchanged words, just two days out of the event.
‘It was mind games,’ Catterall said after the face-off. ‘I don’t pay attention. [Taylor said]: ‘Are you ready for Saturday? Are you going to run? Are you going to have a fight?’
‘Of course I’m not going to run from him. I’m prepared to go to any place possible to get the win. I’ll meet him in the middle. No bother.’
Catterall vowed to meet Taylor centre-ring and assured he’s not here to make up numbers
Trainer Ben Davison insisted it will be very hard for anyone to beat Taylor at super-lightweight
Taylor reflected on the face-off, stating: ‘How is he going to win? I don’t think he will meet me in the centre. I think he will try to walk me onto a shot.
‘If he’s on the front foot, that plays into my hands. I’ve studied him diligently. He is a good defensive fighter, quite slick, he can punch hard, he is a clever fighter.
‘This isn’t a one-sided fight. It’s my job to make it a one-sided fight. But it’s got the makings of a tough fight.’
Both trainers also spoke during the press conference, with Ben Davison hailing Taylor’s ‘Rolls-Royce engine’, insisting he will be incredibly difficult for anyone to beat at super-lightweight.
Catterall’s trainer, Jamie Moore, meanwhile insisted that every boxer needs their breakout fight, promising this will be Catterall’s.
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