Taylor and Catterall restrained their emotions during the final press conference

JOSH TAYLOR and JACK CATTERALL kept calm and composed in today’s final press conference ahead of Saturday’s rematch at the First Direct Arena in Leeds.

The rematch, two years in the making, is just days away. And even though there was no verbal mud-slinging or physical exertion, there was still a tension that kept the room frozen in their confrontation.

After facing the camera to take regular photos, the two ultralights turned to look at each other. At the weigh-ins for the first fight in Glasgow and at two press conferences a few weeks ago in Edinburgh and Manchester, it all threatened to spiral out of control with fist-throwing and tantrums. And although nothing of the sort happened today, each of them looked as if they were waiting, perhaps even hoping something would happen. The pot was boiling and the ingredients were bubbling but luckily nothing spilled out.

Before that, all sides said their piece and remained civil and shared very little that would make anyone bite their teeth.

“We both knew what was in front of us,” Catterall said. “We had the build-up. We don’t see it with our own eyes.

“I watched the first match and didn’t rate it. I think I performed poorly, I think Josh did too. Expect a better fight on Saturday, emotions aside expect a better fight on Saturday.”

The Chorley 140-pounder knows exactly how important this moment is in his career but refuses to think about what could lie ahead in such a talent-filled division.

“You have a great split at 140 [but] all I can think about is Saturday.”

Their controversial first bout has come a long way but this time Catterall, 28-1 (13 KOs), is predicting a 12-round victory. “I can get him out [on] Saturday.”

Meanwhile, Taylor is aiming to end his inactivity and disappointing results and performances when he steps into the ring on Saturday night. The Scot has reached the pinnacle of his sport and become the undisputed champion at 140 pounds but since his win over Jose Carlos Ramirez in May 2021, he has fought only twice – a split decision win over Catterall in February 2022 and a unanimous decision loss in June 2023 against Teofimo López.

“Just another week of fighting, another war,” Taylor said at today’s press conference.

“Looking forward to putting all of this to bed and proving it [the first fight] is a night off.”

Some wrote Taylor, 19-1 (13 KOs), was out because of his time in the ring and his performances against Catterall and Lopez. Catterall coach Jamie Moore dismissed that theory while Taylor himself used another combat sport to prove a loss is not the end of the road.

“Look at the history of boxing. All the great fighters of the past have come back and won world titles. Things like UFC… guys have 20 fights and 10 losses, still at the top of the game. I still feel like I’m at the top of my game and the win means I’m back in business to get my title back.”

In response to Catterall’s prediction of stopping the match, Taylor replied: “Let him think so. If he wants to do it [then] Great. I don’t care how I win, points or stops. The way I perform in the gym if I catch him with my throws it will be devastating.


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