Josh Taylor's rematch with Jack Catterall postponed after Scot suffers torn foot tendon
World super lightweight champion Josh Taylor's much-anticipated rematch against Jack Catterall has been postponed after the Scot suffered a torn tendon in his foot.
Bad Blood, as the fight had been billed, was scheduled for Saturday, March 4 at the Hydro in Glasgow, 53 weeks after Taylor's controversial split-decision victory over the Englishman at the same venue.
However, an injury suffered in training has forced the 32-year-old Prestonpans puncher to withdraw from the contest with the fight now being pushed back closer to the summer.
Taylor and Catterall were in each other's company at the weekend after taking in Liam Smith's fourth-round stoppage of Chris Eubank Jr at the Manchester Arena.
Undefeated Taylor, a stablemate of Smith following his decision to move forward under new trainer Joe McNally and base himself in Liverpool, almost came to blows with the 29-year-old Chorley fighter when sat at ringside, with security having to step in to keep the duo separated as verbals were exchanged.
It's a hammer blow for both parties given Taylor had moved mountains to make the rematch happen, relinquishing three of his belts he'd secured en route to being crowned undisputed world champion with a thrilling victory over Jose Ramirez in Las Vegas in May 2021.
"It just depends on the recovery of the foot," Taylor told iD Boxing. "It's a torn tendon so it's not one I can rush. The recovery is going to have to take its time so we're probably talking six to eight weeks just before I get back on my feet, back to training and putting any kind of pressure on the foot.
"It's very frustrating because I was fired up for this fight - I wanted to do it. I was flying in the gym, everything was good, weight was good, sparring was good and everything was going really well, and then I got hit with a killer blow unfortunately. It's just one of these things. It's out of my control but it's happened and I'm gutted."
However, some sceptics among the sport's legion of followers are accusing Taylor of running scared, a claim he is quick to diffuse.
"I've made a lot of sacrifices to make this fight happen," Taylor told BBC Scotland. "People saying I'm scared and this and that, it's absolute nonsense. If I was scared, I wouldn't have been undisputed world champion. I'm scared to fight no-one.
"I could have gone on to much bigger fights and got offered much bigger fights, a lot more lucrative opportunities. I turned them down to do this and prove that was just a bad performance and I am still the best fighter on the planet in my weight class. Boxing fans are quite fickle. They're quick to forget.
"I don't think the fight is going to go anywhere," he adds. "I wouldn't expect Jack to sit around and wait for me to get better. He's got a career to pursue as well. I would expect him to go and try and get another fight for the time being. I think the interest in that rematch will always be there as long as we're both still winning and he doesn't get beaten by anyone.
"I think, if he boxes anyone in the top 10, the guys I've boxed previously, he gets beaten off them. Even then, I still think that rematch is still there at some point because there will be interest in it."