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Jack Catterall set to best old foe Josh Taylor in bitter rematch, says former world champ

Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall after their first bout

Johnny Nelson believes that Jack Catterall has gotten into Josh Taylor’s head.

Scottish southpaw Taylor, 33, was lucky to escape with a split decision win over English lefty Catterall, 30, when they met for the former’s undisputed junior welterweight championship in February 2022.

Catterall 28-1 (13) had Taylor 19-1 (13) cut around the left eye and on the canvas in the eighth before beingg edged on the cards 113-112, 111-114 and 112-113.

But despite coming up marginally short, Catterall seems to have gotten the moral victory in a fight that many fans and pundits believe he did enough to win.

That has stuck in the craw of a proud man like Taylor, something that ex-boxer turned pundit Nelson says will be to his detriment come fight night.

“I think Catterall spooked him [in the first fight]. Every time Catterall sees him, he puts it on him when Taylor is usually the one who does that. He’s a bit spiteful and he’s got a bit of an edge to him; now, he’s had to humble down,” Nelson told talkSPORT.

“I like Josh Taylor, but I think he’s a bully of a fighter. You need to be, sometimes, but bullies can’t check themselves. This [rematch] will be a totally different fight. He’s [Taylor] going to have to humble himself, as instinctively he’ll want to be the bully in the ring and that is where he could have a problem.

“Jack hijacked him the last time; the style was unpredictable, he [Jack] was herky-jerky and all of a sudden, Josh has someone in front of him that he thought couldn’t beat him. He isn’t playing to the rules.

“Now you’ve got a fighter in Jack that not just believes but knows he has the beating of Taylor. Now it’s down to Taylor’s boxing skill; if he has the true skill and ability, then he should rise to the top, otherwise, if you’re just going in there to bully him, that’s gone; I think his TNT has gone.

“I’m going with Catterall. I don’t think Taylor is the fighter he was. I think that youth, that arrogance, that spite that he had that got him to where he got has gone.

“Time catches up with everyone. I don’t think he’s that fighter anymore. When you’re in there with someone you know can beat you, it affects your self-belief.”

Catterall accused Taylor earlier this week of doing everything in his power to avoid him.

“Do I think Josh Taylor ever avoided me? Of course. Josh doesn’t want to fight me,” he said.

“Since the first fight we’ve had the fight rescheduled maybe four times now. He’s looking for any way out. He’s in a position where he has to fight me. I think he’s been forced into this position.

“When you look at the landscape, the fights that are there and the fights that aren’t there, this fight makes a lot of sense. Do I think he wants it? No. Does he have to take it? Yes.”