Undisputed champion Josh Taylor fully focused on Jack Catterall test

Undisputed super lightweight world champion Josh Taylor reinforced the consummate professional he is as he refused to look beyond forthcoming opponent Jack Catterall.

Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 7:00 am
Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall face off during the press conference ahead of their fight at the Ovo Hydro in Glasgow on February 26.

The undefeated duo will go glove to glove at the Hydro in Glasgow on Saturday, February 26 in what will be Taylor's first fight on home soil since cleaning up the division with victory over the previously undefeated Jose Ramirez, in Las Vegas, seven months ago.

At the first press conference in the Capital yesterday to promote next year's duel, the 30-year-old Prestonpans puncher was quick to shut down any talk of a potential match-up against welterweight king Terence Crawford, arguably the best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet.

Catterall, 28, hasn't racked up 26 wins for no reason – an unblemished record that surpasses Taylor's 18 wins without defeat. That said, the Scotsman does hold a far superior resume regarding the level of opposition he has conquered in the ring.

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"Jack is a very good fighter – he's been knocking on the door of world titles for a couple of years now," Taylor rightly pointed out. "He stepped aside to let me fight Ramirez because he was mandatory for the WBC. He knew that in doing that he would get a crack at all of the titles.

"Everybody seems to be asking me what is next after Jack Catterall but we're certainly not looking beyond him. He's a very good fighter, very dangerous. Recent history shows that if you overlook your opponent then it can go horribly wrong. I never do that with any of my opponents. I really don't want to talk about what's next after Jack because I keep getting asked about it.

"I've worked my backside off to achieve these goals having beat champion after champion to get where I am today. This guy is getting a shot at the lottery. It's my job to make sure he doesn't get anywhere near it and he won't.

"Since I started boxing, I had always dreamed about becoming world champion. Was being undisputed world champion a realistic goal? Probably not because I always thought it was for the superstars of the sport. So, I've surpassed my dreams to become the UK's first undisputed world champion in the four-belt era. It's a massive achievement for myself."

Taylor is thrilled at the prospect of fighting under the bright lights of the Hydro – and in front of fans again.

"I'm excited to be back in Scotland," he said. "It's the first time fighting at home since I won my first world title against (Ivan) Baranchyk in May 2019. My last two fights had no crowd at all and then one was with very limited numbers. But the Hydro is a cauldron of an atmosphere with the fans so I am looking forward to it."

Taylor had the full backing of trainer Ben Davison, who said: "Preparation is key and I believe if Josh gets in the ring at 100 per cent on the night, then this is potential showcase for him. However, like any achievement, you have to work for it and earn it. Josh is constantly setting new goals and he wants to move onto bigger and better things, but he's got a challenge ahead of him that he's got to take care of."

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