Stalker threatens the Catt

Jack Catterall
Jack Catterall
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Chorley boxing star Jack Catterall will be heading into the lion’s den later this month for the biggest fight of his fledgling career,

The 21-year-old will fight for the vacant WBO European belt against Merseysider Thomas Stalker at the Liverpool Arena on Saturday, October 25.

Light-welterweight Catterall was due to defend his Central Area title against Czech Republic’s Michal Dufek this month but that fight has now been cancelled.

Catterall said: “I got some great news on Monday.

“I will be fighting for the WBO European title against Thomas Stalker.

“The fight has been in the process for about two weeks but there are a lot of things to be taken into consideration before a fight can be finalised.

“I’m over the moon that we have managed to come to agreement.

“It’s going to be a great atmosphere in Liverpool.

“I am going into the lion’s den because it’s his back yard.”

Stalker – who at 30 is nine years older than Catterall – has enjoyed a long and successful amateur career.

He was the captain of the GB boxing team, which competed at the London 2012 Olympic Games and was the hot favourite to claim gold.

However, a dubious judging decision denied the Liverpudlian victory in his quarter-final bout against Munkh-Erdene Uranchimeg of Mongolia.

A former Commonwealth Games gold medal winner, Stalker has a lot of similarities with fellow southpaw Catterall. They both turned professional in 2012 and boast perfect 100% records from nine professional bouts so far.

“I know quite a bit about Thomas,” said Catterall, who knocked out Nathan Brough in his last outing.

“We are sort of neck and neck and have won nine out of nine professional fights but I don’t think he’s been that impressive in many of his fights.

“We’ve sparred and went over to Spain together to train over there. There’s no bad blood between us – it’s just business.

“I know how he fights and I know he will turn up fit and strong on the night. But I had a good win in my last fight and I just think I should strike while the iron’s hot.”

If Catterall wins, he will then be ranked in the top 15 in the world, with potential world title fights in the offing in the near future.