BIG INTERVIEW: Date with destiny for Chorley’s Jack Catterall

Craig Salmon talks to Chorley boxer Jack Catterall who is aiming to beat Josh Taylor on Saturday night and become the undisputed world super-lightweight champion.

By Craig Salmon
Friday, 25th February 2022, 4:45 pm

Jack Catterall is counting on his laid-back demeanour to give him the edge when he takes on undisputed world super-lightweight champion Josh Taylor.

The pair go head-to-head on Saturday evening in what is sure to be a white-hot atmosphere in the champion’s own back yard in Glasgow.

The Scotsman is sure to have the majority of the crowd support on his side at the OVO Hydro indoor arena when he steps inside the ring.

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Jack Catterall, right, with Josh Taylor (photo: Getty Images)

The show is being billed as Taylor’s homecoming after he famously unified the division last year by defeating American Jose Ramirez in Las Vegas.

On top of the world and with an unblemished record from 16 fights, Taylor’s supreme confidence resonates in every interview he has conducted in the build-up to the fight.

There seems to be little doubt in the minds of many expert judges that Catterall is entering into the proverbial lion’s den.

But while Taylor has been brash, almost dismissive, of his opponent, Catterall has projected an air of calm – a direct contrast to the champion.

Jack Catterall discusses how he is going to beat undisputed world super-lightweight champion Josh Taylor (photo: Getty Images)

Having won all 26 of his professional bouts, including British and European titles along the way, the Chorley southpaw is a man comfortable in his own skin.

While he accepts tonight’s bout will certainly be no walk in the park against a stellar opponent, he insists he has got the talent and skills to win.

And he believes keeping his cool in the pressure cooker atmosphere will stand him in good stead against a man he has labelled ‘hot-headed’.

“I don’t read too much into all the mind games,” said Catterall, who is trained by former British, European and Commonwealth welterweight champion Jamie Moore.

“I know Josh has got a temperament which means he likes to kick off and get all chirpy before fights.

“But people who know me and know my character, they know that I am quite laid back.

“That is how I am going to be until that first bell goes.

“There is a time and a place to get in the zone and that is what I will do.

“Once the fight starts I will be ready.”

With Taylor fighting in front of a hometown crowd for the first time after becoming undisputed world champion, Catterall expects him to come out all guns blazing from the first bell.

“I think it’s going to be electric,” said Catterall, whose first club was Chorley ABC. “Obviously he will have home support and whether that will faze me you can never tell until the night.

“I have certainly visualised it many times. It is something I have been thinking about for many months now.

“I am expecting it to be hostile, I am expecting it to be rowdy.

“There’s going to be a lot of people there for Josh but make no mistake, I am taking a lot of fans up to Glasgow.

“I have had a lot of support for this fight, which I am very grateful of.

“They will certainly be making some noise up in Scotland. It’s going to be an electric atmosphere.

“I could be wrong and the fight could turn out to be a cagey affair, you never know.

“I am certainly prepared for every scenario in the fight.

“I am expecting it to be tough. I am fighting against one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in Josh.

“I am under no illusions that it’s going to be an easy night’s work but I am super confident that I have covered all areas and I can come away with the victory.”

It is nearly 10 years since Catterall made his professional debut when he defeated Carl Allen at Bowler’s Exhibition Centre in Manchester.

His name first entered the world rankings list when he made a stoppage victory over Thomas Stalker in October 2014 after putting down the former Olympian twice in the early rounds.

He then scored another victory by knockout over Argentina’s Cesar David Inalef, to lay his hands on the Intercontinental title, which he subsequently defended against Gabriel Fernando Punalef Calfin in that same year.

He built a stronghold of his WBO Intercontinental title by impressively beating Jarkko Putkonen in a shut-out decision win. He racked up another triumphant win over Noe Nunez on December 2015 at the Manchester Arena.

In 2017, he outpointed Tyrone Nurse to win the British title but relinquished that belt immediately before scoring unanimous wins over fighters such as Tyrone McKenn, Timo Schwarzkopf and Abderrazak Houya – in his last time out at the end of 2020.

In 2015, Catterall was chosen as a sparring a partner for the legendary Floyd Mayweather at his Las Vegas gym ahead of the American’s blockbuster showdown with Filipino Manny Pacquiao.

He then went on to train alongside another superstar in the shape of Mexico’s Saul Alvarez.

“There is always a point in a person’s career when they have to take the next step,” said Catterall.

“For me that’s challenging for the world title and putting myself in the bracket of the best fighter in the world in my weight category.

“It’s something that I have been chomping at the bit for a couple of years and for one thing and another, it’s not happened.

“Now though I have got the biggest opportunity to go and achieve great things.”