Boxing: Josh Taylor turns Jack Catterall from friend to foe for February showdown
Undisputed world boxing champion Josh Taylor is ready to turn Jack Catterall from friend to foe for their showdown in Glasgow in February.
The Prestonpans fighter says he has has no issues at all with the mandatory challenger from Chorley, who was in Las Vegas in May backing Taylor when he unified all four junior welterweight belts with a convincing decision win over the previously undefeated Jose Ramirez.
Speaking at The Royal Scots Club in Edinburgh, where both boxers were publicising their fight at The SSE Hydro Arena, Taylor revealed a changed attitude towards Catterall, also unbeaten with a 26-0 record and a former British and WBO Intercontinental champion.
He said: "I like Jack. I have a lot of time for him. There is no bad blood there, there never has been. But the mindset towards him now changes and that is easy for me.
"I can change the mindset with a click of my fingers. I am a fighting man and it is easy to change that mindset.
"I am getting sick of looking at his face already. I just want to get in the ring and beat him up and keep my belts.
"At the end of the day, he is coming for what I worked so hard to achieve. I came up the hard way, I had to beat champion after champion, undefeated fighter after undefeated fighter so he is getting the chance of all this glory in one fight.
"It is my job to make sure he gets nowhere near it. I don't think he will bring anything I haven't seen before and he hasn't fought anywhere near the level that I have. This will be a telling factor on fight night."
Taylor, whose unbeaten record is now 18-0, was due to defend his WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO belts against Catterall on December 18 but he picked up a knee injury.
The 30-year-old fighter admits some frustration that he was denied a festive bout.
He said: "Who wants to be running and training on Christmas Day and not eating the turkey and pigs in blankets and all the trimmings, who wants to be sacrificing for me the best part of the year when you get to catch up with family and friends and celebrate with people you haven't seen for while?
"It is frustrating but I am used to it. Last year was the only year as an athlete that I got to enjoy Christmas so I am used to it."
Catterall is "relishing the opportunity" to show his skills.
The 28-year-old said: "All the belts are on the line and these opportunities don't come around often.
"I have to go in there, soak up the atmosphere and put in a good performance.
"Josh is up there with the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world, he's got all the belts but right now he is the enemy and I want what he has got. I won't just be there to take part.
"I have been knocking at the door of these world titles for some years now so I will be coming up with bad intentions.”