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Josh Taylor Vs Jack Catterall - Preview & Predictions

Updated: Feb 21, 2022

Undisputed Super Lightweight World Champion and pound-for-pound star Josh Taylor defends his titles this weekend against undefeated mandatory challenger Jack Catterall in the shadow of bigger fights on the horizon.

Taylor walks into this fight as a huge favourite, and with his glittering record of impressive wins and World Champions conquered, all in just 18 fights, it’s easy to see why. In being such a massive favourite (being as much as 1/20 with some bookmakers), promoter and fans, as well as Taylor himself, are already talking about fights with some of the biggest names in boxing; most notably Terence Crawford.

However, Jack Catterall is the one fighting Josh Taylor this Saturday, and all that talk goes up in smoke if Taylor doesn’t walk out of the ring with the Championships he walks in with.

In my opinion, Josh Taylor is the best boxer, in terms of hitting without being hit, on the planet. However, unlike other fighters who have fought in that style in the past, this doesn’t make Taylor a defensive fighter at all. He places just as much importance on not missing his opponent with the punches he throws, as he does in making his opponent miss the punches they throw. Taylor also fuses offence and defence to great success, making his opponent miss and pouncing on the opportunity that provides.

This results in perfect shot selection from Taylor at every turn. He never wastes a punch, and he never leaves a lazy attempt from his opponent un-punished. Taylor does great work as a tricky southpaw at the longer ranges, with a neat jab and disciplined straight left, however, his most impressive work is done at medium range, where Taylor can work in hooks to both the body and head, with his opponent rarely knowing which one Taylor will target for any given shot.

This symbiosis of offence and defence is also most pronounced at medium range for Taylor. He has been consistently able to slip shots in his career and instantly fire back with a perfect response that finds the gap in his opponent’s guard. The perfect example of this came in Taylor’s fight to win the Undisputed World Championship against Jose Carlos Ramirez when Taylor scored a knockdown in the 6th round. Taylor read and slipped a straight right hand perfectly, to dodge it by millimetres, and instantly threw a perfect left hook in response that clattered into Ramirez’s chin and sent him collapsing into the canvas.

Taylor notches another win | Daily Record

Taylor is also a master of the level change. He is one of the most comfortable fighters in a crouched position in world boxing and often turns to the lower position to find new angles to hit his opponents, who often find themselves unsure as to how to target the shorter form of Taylor, as well as how to defend shots coming from that height. Opponents struggle to judge whether Taylor will fire at the head or body next when he’s standing upright, but it seems to be a near impossibility when the Scotsman moves to a lower level.

So how does Jack Catterall who, by his own admission, has never fought someone as good as Taylor before, walk away from this fight victorious?

Catterall fights in the slightly tricky style you might expect from a Southpaw, throwing long, reaching jabs from distance, with a massively side-on stance that gives his opponent very little to aim at in terms of body shots. Catterall then follows these jabs up with long straight left punches, or sometimes overhand lefts too, that sneak around, rather than through, his opponent’s guard. The change in angle of approach between the straight left and the overhand left is often enough to disrupt his opponent’s defence as they struggle to know where the follow-up to a flurry of jabs is going to come from.

Catterall, often following on from a lunging overhand left, also has skill at close range where he changes his fight-style very significantly. He likes to square up his stance much more at close range and chain tight, powerful hooks thrown from both hands while keeping enough awareness to make sure his opponent can’t do much damage to him in return.

This creates a wealth of options for any fight Jack Catterall is in, as he can either use his long-range skills more against scrappy opponents that he doesn’t want to enter into a firefight with, or close up the range and make the fight gritty and messy with opponents that could prove frustrating in a battle of jabs.

Catterall's southpaw jab in action | Boxing News

To have a chance of winning this fight Jack Catterall has to live and die by one main strategy; don’t let the fight go into the medium range. For Catterall to claim the world championships he needs to make sure every second of this fight takes place far apart, where only jabs can land, or close enough that both men could comfortably fit into a phone box. I believe Taylor will make Catterall miss and make him pay for it time after time at medium range, using timing and fluid movement to great effect. Taylor can absolutely fight well at the closer ranges and did great work there in his fight with Regis Prograis. Moreover, Taylor comes into this fight with the height and reach advantage, so it’s not like keeping Taylor on the end of his jab would be an easy prospect for Catterall, but medium range is where the most danger lies and where I believe Catterall has the most deficiencies.

I do think Josh Taylor will have too much skill for Jack Catterall, with Taylor’s overall, all-round ability just being a level above Catterall’s, leading to either a late stoppage victory for Taylor if Catterall is game, or a lopsided points victory if Catterall gets negative once he realises the fight is slipping away from him.

However, this is boxing, and Jack Catterall gets the chance of a lifetime this Saturday in Glasgow. He’s never tasted defeat as a professional before, and I’m sure he’s not planning to, so sit down, tune in, and see who walks away Undisputed Super Lightweight Champion of the World.

ESBR Team Predictions

Paul Kelly (@paulkelly98): Taylor UD - I expect it to be a relatively boring fight to be honest with Taylor walking away victorious. I think Catterall is a special fighter in his own right, but Josh Taylor is a completely different proposition. Think Catterall will have some success but ultimately see the Scot retaining his belts with a fairly comprehensive points victory.

Eliot Stott (@Eliotstott1): Taylor Rounds 5-7 - This is Josh Taylor’s coming out party and his first fight back in Scotland for some time. Jack Catterall hasn’t been in with anybody near Taylor’s level and I think it’ll show on the night

Elliott Grigg (@elliottgrigg): Taylor KO - Catterall is a decent fighter but nowhere near the calibre of Taylor. It’s a testament to Taylor’s ability that he’s been linked with names of far more prestige than the Lancashire man. This will be a dominant homecoming victory and then I expect Taylor to move into much bigger fights. You’re tempted to say ‘anyone that goes the distance with Davies and McKenna isn’t getting near beating Taylor.’

Gregory Doyle (@GND1989): Greg's video prediction and fight breakdown can be seen here:

Fighters Form – Last Five Fights

Josh Taylor

· Jose Carlos Ramirez Win by UD 22/05/21

· Apinun Khongsong Win by KO Rd 1 26/09/20

· Regis Prograis Win by MD 26/10/19

· Ivan Baranchyk Win by UD 18/05/19

· Ryan Martin Win by KO Rd 7 03/11/18

Jack Catterall

· Abderrazak Houya Win by PTS 28/11/20

· Timo Schwarzkopf Win by UD 22/11/19

· Oscar Amador Win by KO Rd 3 27/04/19

· Ohara Davies Win by UD 06/10/18

· Tyrone McKenna Win by UD 30/06/18

Event Information:

Date: February 26th, 2022

Main Event Ring Walk Time: 22:30(GMT), 14:30 (PT), 17:30 (ET)

Venue: OVO Hydro Arena, Glasgow, Scotland

Channel: Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Arena (UK), ESPN (USA)

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