Josh Taylor reveals changes he's making to remove 'complacency' for Jack Catterall re-match
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The Tartan Tornado, who will be 32 next month, is hoping to secure a re-match with the Englishman in March or April 2023. He sees it is an opportunity to silence his critics and put an end to the doubts that were raised about the result of his world title defence against Catterall in Glasgow earlier this year.
Taylor beat Catterall on a split points verdict in February, but the decision was heavily criticised afterwards and even gave rise to social media abuse directed towards the Scot’s family. Taylor was initially reluctant to offer Catterrall a re-match and had intended to move up a weight. But he has since had a change of heart in order to prove the doubters wrong.
He vacated three of the four world title belts he held, so no mandatory commitments can now interfere with confirming a Catterall rematch. The Prestonpans puncher, who has 19 consecutive wins since turning pro in 2015, remains the WBO super-lightweight champion.
“I’m doing what all champions do,” Taylor explained. “Champions have bad nights, bad performances. True champions always want to rectify bad performances. This is what I am doing.
“I’m showing a real champion’s mentality and I’ll show that I am the better fighter by putting in a real dominant performance. I’m showing that I have the mentality of a champion by doing it off my own back. I didn’t have to do this fight. I got the result and I could have moved on with my career, but I am revisiting it to put all the doubts to bed.”
Taylor has changed his trainer since the original bout, announcing the appointment of Joe McNally in October after parting ways with Ben Davison. McNally previously worked with ex-WBO light-middleweight champion Liam Smith and former Commonwealth heavyweight champion David Price.
“I just felt I needed a change, just to get back to my old self,” he said on Sky Sports. “I felt I was straying away from my old style of boxing, so I just needed a change to freshen up. I’m feeling good and I’m happy with the decision I made. Declan and all the lads at the gym are brilliant with me, so I’m really happy and flying.”
Taylor has always maintained that he edged the initial contest against Cattarrell but admits it was a poor performance by his own very high standards, mainly because of his mental approach. That is something he intends to change by working with McNally.
He added: “It’s no secret that the performance I put on last time was terrible, the worst I’ve ever been. But a lot of that was down to myself – a lack of motivation, a lack of drive and a bit of complacency was creeping in as well. It will be a different approach this time, mentally, so I’m more switched on and taking it seriously. I don't think I need to change too much tactically, but it will definitely be a different fight.
“Obviously a lot of people thought it was the wrong decision, but I’ve reiterated this a lot of times – I felt I did enough to win the fight. The commentary is very influential. When you watch it without the commentary it is a completely different fight, but it is what it is. It has the nation talking about a re-match and hopefully we can get it done soon.”