Josh Taylor v Jack Catterall: I've got an army of English supporters coming to support me

Josh Taylor is relishing an English invasion tomorrow night as he makes his first defence as undisputed super lightweight champion against Chorley's Jack Catterall – but insists those who descend on Glasgow are here to cheer on the Tartan Tornado.
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This weekend's duel at a sold-out Hydro will pitch Scotland's undefeated supremo Taylor against England's 'El Gato' - also without a stain on his record - as the Prestonpans puncher prepares to put all his marbles on the line. It will also be the first time in history where two British boxers have fought for undisputed immortality here in the UK.

Lancashire's Catterall's rise up the boxing ladder has generally fallen under the radar, whereas his opponent has accelerated through the gears in devastating fashion and is now ranked in the top five pound-for-pound best fighters on the planet.

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And that unprecedented success has earned the 31-year-old a legion of followers from all corners of the globe - including from south of the border.

Josh Taylor (left) and Jack Catterall during the pre-fight press conference.Josh Taylor (left) and Jack Catterall during the pre-fight press conference.
Josh Taylor (left) and Jack Catterall during the pre-fight press conference.
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"I’ve got an abundance of fans coming up from England to support me – I’ve probably got more fans coming up from England to support me than Jack has to support him," Taylor quipped. "There’s not been much happening over the last two years so the fans have come out in their numbers for this one and it’s sold out.

“I’m delighted to be back home. The last two years have been frustrating for everybody and for me. I boxed twice, once completely behind closed doors and the second one in Vegas (against Jose Ramirez) with a limited crowd. So, I couldn’t take my friends, family or travelling support with me. It was just me and the team. We couldn’t soak up the usual atmosphere of big fight week. We were just focused on what we had to do and got the right result.

“Coming back home, seeing all the fans again and selling out the arena where I won the Commonwealth Games in 2014 – I’m delighted to be back and I can’t wait for tomorrow now."

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Taylor has made no secret of his desire to become a two-weight world champion before he calls time on his career, but was quick to distance himself from where he goes after the weekend is done and dusted.

“Don’t get me talking about other names," he said. "It’s Jack tomorrow. It’s his turn next to get the beating that I’m going to dish out. He’s standing in my way so he’s all I’m thinking about. He’s here to take away what I’ve worked so hard to get. I’ve cleaned out the division, I did it the hard way. He’s getting a shot at the jackpot in one go. And I’ll put him in his place.

“Jack’s good but we’ll find out on Saturday for sure. He’s in for a long, painful, methodical beat down. It’s about levels. He does things well but he makes so many mistakes. He’s in for a long, painful night.

“It’s all about getting the win but I feel like I’m going to walk Jack into some massive shots. I think I can get the knockout. I can’t see a way he can beat me in this fight.

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“I can do it all. I can box on the front foot, the back foot, I can counter-punch, I can fight on the inside or outside, I can orthodox, I can change, I can do the lot. I’m a brilliant fighter and I will go in and prove it again."

Catterall, three years Taylor's junior at 28, has had to bide his time for a shot at destiny. He has quietly gone about his business delivering 26 wins including 13 knockouts. He's been in touching distance of the big time for a couple of years now and even stepped aside as mandatory challenger to let Taylor and Ramirez face off in Nevada last May. He himself was ringside in Vegas to witness his opponent's historic triumph and was one of the first in the dressing room afterwards to offer his congratulations. How times have changed.

"It’s a challenge that I’m relishing," Catterall, a former British and European champion, said. "I’m just excited now the closer we get to the fight. I got a good reception on Wednesday at the public workout. We’re here now. It feels real, it feels good. I’m just excited to get stuck in on Saturday night.

"It’s been a long journey to get to this point. Being the mandatory challenger these past two years, there’s been a lot of speed bumps and road blocks in the way. But I can put all that behind me now. I’m just buzzing to be here now and excited for the fight.

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"I was in Josh’s dressing room after his fight in Vegas congratulating him. I was Team Josh that night. I wanted Josh to win that fight so that I could eventually be sat here now challenging the top boy in the division. That was always the plan and what I hoped for.

"I’m not coming here to make up the numbers. I’ve been working in the gym continuously for the last two years for this opportunity.

"The respect has always been there. But me and Josh both know that, once the bell goes tomorrow night, the respect is out of the window and it's time to focus on getting down to business. We can shake hands after. But we’ll be going out there to punch each other’s heads in."

And in response to Taylor's jibe about his compatriots favouring the home fighter, Catterall said: "Yeah there will be a little minibus coming up from Chorley, maybe 10 or 20 in that. But we’ll be sweet."

Josh Taylor defends his world titles at the Hydro, in Glasgow, against undefeated Englishman Jack Catterall on Saturday, February 26, with the support of WOW HYDRATE, the latest innovation in fitness, refuelling the body without carbs or sugar.

Where can you buy WOW HYDRATE in Scotland?

WOW HYDRATE is available at major supermarkets including Morrisons and Tesco, an can be picked up at a range of convenience stores across the country, as well as Archerfield Links Golf Course, Dumfries Golf Club, Fluidity Fitness gym in Newbridge, Fight Factory Gym in Glasgow and Recovery Lounge Gym in Paisley.