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Josh Taylor – Jack Catterall weights, brief sparks during face off

Josh Taylor boxing photo

By Scott Gilfoid: Undisputed light welterweight champion Josh Taylor (18-0, 13 KOs) weighed in at 140-lbs for his mandatory defense against unbeaten WBO challenger Jack Catterall (26-0, 13 KOs) on Friday at the weigh-in for their fight this Saturday night at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland.

Catterall weighed in at 139 and looked in surprisingly better shape than the 31-year-old Taylor at the weigh-in. Unfortunately, Catterall has very little chance of winning this fight apart from Taylor suffering a fight-ending injury.

When the two fighters came for the face-off, Catterall reached out and grabbed Tayor by the throat with his left hand. This led to an immediate shove by Taylor, who looked upset.

With that said, the skirmish looked like a routine preplanned thing, as if was something that had to happen to get a few more boxing fans interested in the fight.

Taylor and Catterall deserved Oscars for their acting today on stage. The whole thing looked staged from start to finish, but you can’t blame them. U.S boxing fans have very little interest in this fight, knowing it’s a sick mismatch.

The way that Taylor dashed forward to meet Catterall, 28, at center stage for the face-off, you could tell that it was going to involve a customary altercation.

At this point, it’s now become a tradition in this era for shoving, slaps, and punches to take place during the face-offs at the weigh-ins. The only times we don’t see them are for the bigger fights that don’t require pseudo confrontations.

Taylor wants Crawford fight at 147

“Not much,” said Josh Taylor to Boxing with Chris Mannix when asked whether he considered vacating his four belts and going up to 147 after becoming undisputed champion at 140.

“That’s a fight that I would love to have,” said Taylor about a match against WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford. “I’m in the fight to be my best and challenge myself against the best.

“I believe he is the best in the business. I believe he’s pound-for-pound the best fighter on the planet, and that’s why I’m in the sport for. I’m one of the best in the sport on the planet as well.

“I’d love to go challenge him and see what I do against him. That’s one that I could pull off a win as well,” said Taylor about his belief that he can beat Crawford.

“I believe in my talent 100%, I believe in my ability, and there are also things I see in Terence Crawford’s game that I think I can do as well. I just believe in my talent and I can beat anybody on the planet.

“Not really. I think if there are two fighters that want a fight badly enough, it can happen,” Taylor said when asked if he was worried that he would never get a chance to fight Crawford after his recent split with Top Rank.

“I know that Terence Crawford has a desire to come over to the UK and fight. Who better to fight than myself? It would be great

“I made an agreement with Jack that I would defend against him. He had stepped aside for me to fight Ramirez, o this is why we’re here now today,” said Taylor.

What’s baffling is that Taylor says he’d like to fight WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford, but he’s unwilling to vacate his four titles at 140 for that to happen.

What this suggests is Taylor lacks self confidence in himself that he can beat Crawford, so he’s going to make sure he still has his four titles at light welterweight when he challenges him.

Josh motivated for Catterall title defense

“Not at all,” said Josh Taylor when asked if he’s had problems getting motivated for the Catterall fight. “I know he’s a threat. He’s coming to take what I got and prevent me from getting the fights I want to get and the marquee fights.

“They’re all gone if I don’t get the results. So there’s no lack of motivation and no lack of motivation to produce the goods here.

“It sure is but there’s nothing I can do about it unless I want to give away the titles,  and give them up and don’t become a champion anymore,” said Taylor when reminded that he pays 12% sanctioning fees to hold onto his title.

“That’s not a world title, so I’m not going to pay money for a belt that’s not a world title,” said Taylor when asked what would he say if the WBC wanted to make him the Franchise champion at 140.

“There is only two, me and Canelo and the women as well,” Taylor said about him and Canelo Alvarez being the only male undisputed champions in boxing.

“I don’t know what he was trying to do, but it got shot down pretty quickly,” said Taylor about Catterall saying that he was trying to get out of their fight using injury excuses. “It was pretty strange and pretty bizarre.

“It doesn’t concern me at all. There are some things that he does really well. I’ve watched what he does, but there’s nothing that concerns me [about Catterall’s game], no,” said Taylor.

This fight is a big deal for Taylor because Catterall is from the UK like himself, but it’s nothing special for non-British boxing fans. They’d rather see Taylor fight one of the elite 140-pounders rather than a career-long domestic level fighter like Catterall.

Fans want to see Taylor fight Regis Prograis and Jose Ramirez again, as he barely beat both of them.

They’d also prefer to watch Taylor take on Jose Zepeda, Teofimo Lopez, Subrial Matias, Shakhram Giyasov, and Arnold Barboza Jr.

Catterall should be fighting guys at his own levels like Tyrone McKenna, and Ohara Davies rather than challenging for a world title.

Taylor won’t vacate 

“I’m thinking about going into this fight that I need to win it, get the right results and that is all I’m thinking about,” said Taylor when asked if he’s thinking that this fight will be his last at 140.

“I want to remain champion for as long as I’m in the sport, as long as I can be. So I’m not thinking this is the last fight at 140 or if I’m moving up after this fight. I’m thinking about winning on Saturday, and that’s all.

“It’s pretty comfortable,” said the 31-year-old Taylor when asked how difficult it is to get down to 140 at this point in his career.

“Everyone seems to think I’m struggling at making weight because I’m so big for the weight, which is true. I’m massive for the weight, but also make it quite comfortable. I’ve got a great metabolism, a great body. I’m a giant for the weight and I make it comfortable.

“It’s absolutely no problem. I could be a career 140-pounder if I really wanted to. I make the weight comfortable. I’ve got a great nutritionist on board, who helps me make the weight,” said Taylor.

Like I said, the fact that Taylor isn’t vacating his four 140-lb titles to go up and challenge WBO 147-lb champion Terence Crawford tells me that he doesn’t have the confidence he can win. Oh well, what can you say?

Josh wins comfortably

“Josh Taylor, undisputed 140-lb champion and Jack Catterall, undefeated [WBO] mandatory challenger,” said Chris Mannix. “This fights in Glasgow, Scotland, the backyard of Taylor. I’m going with Taylor.

“I know the odds are really high in his favor. I’m taking Taylor because I think he is so much more talented than Catterall. I have not heard about any problems with Taylor making weight, and I have not heard any lingering issues with the knee injury that forced the postponement of this fight back in December.

“When I talked to Taylor, he just seemed motivated to win this fight and move on to bigger and better things. How he wins this fight? I’m going with a decision on this one. I think Catterall is tough and he’s unbeaten, as I said.

“This is the biggest fight of his career. I think he hangs in there and goes the distance with Josh Taylor. Taylor to win by decision. I’m going all-in on Josh Taylor,” said Mannix.

It’s pretty obvious that Crawford will win this fight comfortably against Catterall on Saturday night. I don’t understand why the WBO didn’t order Catterall to face a good contender for the title eliminator like Zepeda, Prograis, or Giyasov.

If the WBO had done that, Catterall would have been weeded out and boxing fans would be seeing a competitive fight on Saturday night in Glasgow instead of this mismatch.

Full weights for Taylor vs. Catterall card:

• Josh Taylor 140 vs. Jack Catterall 139

• Robeisy Ramirez 126.3 vs. Eric Donovan 126.3

• Nick Campbell 254  vs. Jay McFarlane 276

• Ebonie Jones 125.3 vs. Efty Kathopouli 124

• John Docherty 172  vs. Jordan Grant 176.3

• Paddy Donovan 146 vs. Miroslav Serban 145

• Kurt Walker 129 vs. Jaroslav Hriadel 127.3

• Kieran Molloy 154.3 vs. Damian Esquisabel 154

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