Home Boxing News Josh Taylor dismisses claims he avoided Jack Catterall rematch

Josh Taylor dismisses claims he avoided Jack Catterall rematch

Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall after their first encounter. Photo credit: SNS Group

WBO junior welterweight champion Josh ‘The Tartan Tornado’ Taylor 19-0 (13) has scoffed at claims he is frightened to face Jack ‘El Gato’ Catterall 26-1 (13) in a rematch.

The 32-yer-old Scottish southpaw won a disputed split decision over British southpaw Catterall, 29, one year ago in a fight for Taylor’s undisputed 140-pound championship.

In the 12 months that have elapsed their rematch has repeatedly been postponed, most recently when Taylor suffered a torn plantar fascia tendon in his heel.

As a result Catterall has opted to take a stay-bust fight on March 25 against an opponent to be named.

In order to secure the Catterall rematch Taylor abdicated his WBC, WBA and IBF crowns, but now the WBO wants him to face their mandatory contender, former undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez 18-1 (13).

“I have become undisputed, fighting on the road. To say I am afraid [of Catterall] is ridiculous. I just laugh,” Taylor told Sky Sports.

“There was no-one more than me who wanted to put this right. But this will happen.”

Taylor dismissed claims he faked the foot injury to avoid the Catterall rematch.

“I did it the Monday of the Chris Eubank-Liam Smith fight [week]. I did it in sparring. I just felt a pop and a tear, and just horrendous pain,” Taylor explained.

“I stopped sparring straight away, took the boot off and it was red raw and my heel was swollen and inflamed. I went to see the doctors on the Tuesday and got a scan on the Wednesday. Got the results back on Thursday and it was a really bad injury, a complete tear.

“My foot was immobilised. It was pretty bad. You’re at least six to seven weeks off your feet.”

Taylor insists he wanted the second Catterall fight to prove his doubters wrong.

“[I was ready to] move on with my career and then that happens. It’s one of those things that happens and I just have to go with the punches,” he said.

“I’m gutted. We were about to announce the fight at the Liam Smith fight. I was pretty gutted, I gave up a lot and sacrificed a lot to make this fight happen, vacated my titles to make it happen.”

The WBO have given the Taylor and Lopez camps 10 days to negotiate a deal. Failure to reach an agreement will see the fight go to purse bids with a minimum bid of 150,000 US dollars.

“They’ve ordered me to fight Teofimo Lopez. It’s one I want to do, it’s the only belt I’ve got left, the WBO, so I want to keep it,” Taylor said.

“If I went and then fought Jack I’d be fighting him with no titles. I want to keep the title. They’re all my belts, but I want to keep this one. I’m going to fight this.

“Further on down the line, Jack and me can still fight. I don’t know what’s going to happen now. I definitely will [but] it’s out of my control, it’s not my fault the WBO got in touch.

“At the end of the day it’s out of my control. This fight is a much bigger fight than the Catterall fight. It’s a much bigger fight and it’s a harder fight. He is a much higher calibre of opponent, he has been at a higher level, he’s been in with better fighters. He’s done the business and got the t-shirt. I think it’s a better fight.”