Josh Taylor has vowed to resurrect his career and ‘crush’ Jack Catterall to prove he still belongs among world boxing’s elite talents.
The bitter rivals clashed in Edinburgh at a promotional event for their rematch, which will take place in Leeds on April 27.
In a typically intense exchange, security had to separate them after Englishman Catterall grabbed Taylor by the throat.
It was almost a carbon copy of what happened at the weigh-in for their first fight two years ago, which Taylor won thanks to a hugely controversial split decision.
Catterall has claimed Taylor is now a spent force, with the Scot having lost his unbeaten record and the last of his four light welterweight world titles to Teofimo Lopez in New York last year.
Jack Catterall grabbed Josh Taylor by the neck during a promotional event for their rematch
The bitter rivals will fight on April 27 in a rematch of their fight in 2022, where Taylor won.
The 33-year-old Scot admits he has something to prove but is determined to reignite his career by setting the record straight against his English rival.
“I have something to prove, because my last two performances have been shit,” Taylor said. ‘I need to produce the goods this time. Otherwise, the question is where do I go?
‘Do I fight again to lower my level? I wouldn’t allow myself to do that because I know I’m one of the best fighters in the world. I need to produce the products this time.
‘This time there are no belts. This will just be a good boxing exhibition. I’m going to go down and destroy it and put it back to bed.
‘It is a crossroads fight. I have something to prove and give my best again to win this fight and keep my career going.”
This will be Taylor’s fourth fight in three years, a period of inactivity that has led many to question whether he can still make it at boxing’s highest level.
He became the unified light welterweight champion after beating José Ramírez in Las Vegas in May 2021, before looking laborious in his two subsequent performances against Catterall and López.
On the idea that he’s been well below his best, Taylor said, “Yeah, I think that’s definitely a fair comment.” It definitely wasn’t my best version against Jack.
Their recent matchup was almost a carbon copy of their 2022 weigh-in.
“It was a terrible performance on my part, and not a very good one on his part either, with all the grip and pampering.” Sometimes he would just hug me.
“I hope this time we have a referee who doesn’t allow that intense type of disruptive tactics. It’s a fight and we should show our skills.
“I haven’t shown up and haven’t been great in the last few fights, that’s probably fair.”
‘But how many fighters in the past have had a couple of bad nights, but then come back even stronger? “I hope to return to my best level.”
A feud that has been brewing for two years as Taylor and Catterall traded insults on social media, the fight has been advertised with the tagline “Hate Runs Deep.”
Both combatants were quick to downplay the notion of any genuine hatred, although there is undeniable bad blood on both sides.
Taylor also insisted he is more than happy to fight at 140lbs again, after appearing to struggle to make weight two years ago against Catterall and saying afterwards it would be the last time before moving up to 147lbs.
Taylor looks to bounce back from the first loss of his career to Teófimo López (left)
The pair (seen fighting in 2022) exchanged insults on social media before the fight, which was advertised with the tagline “Hate runs deep.”
“I was the one who insisted on going up to 140 pounds,” the Scot said. We did all the tests and analyses, talked to my nutritionists, etc.
‘I can do the weight comfortably, unlike him. I have given him all the conditions he wanted, it is also on neutral ground in England.
‘What can you complain about this time you don’t win? Maybe call the police or write a letter to your MP in the House of Commons.
‘It’s advertised as Hate Runs Deep, but I don’t hate anyone. I don’t like Jack. Anyway, he’s too stupid to bother me.
In the two years since his first fight with Taylor, Catterall defeated Irish journeyman Darragh Foley and Venezuelan veteran Jorge Linares.
He has vowed to knock out Taylor this time, after being denied points last time in Glasgow despite knocking the Scot down and looking sharper throughout.
“I think I won last time,” said the man from Chorley in Lancashire. “I stayed in the gym, took care of myself and got two wins.
‘Josh went to New York and was devastated, and I think he’s on the decline.
‘I’m going to take advantage of it and put him to bed. Do I expect to win the fight at a distance? Hundred percent. Without a doubt, I come there to do harm.’