Jack Catterall is looking to the future. Calm and composed in everything he says, there is a determination in his voice that will fuel his efforts to eventually have a world championship belt around his waist.
Many observers feel that moment should have arrived three months ago when he delivered the best performance of his career to comprehensively outboxin .
All four of Taylor’s light-welterweight titles were on the line. It *should* have been the greatest night of Catterall’s life, only for it to be cruelly snatched away from him.
In what should have been the greatest night of Jack Catterall’s (right) life, victory against Josh Taylor was taken away from him
Taylor prevailed via a hugely controversial split decision, despite being knocked down by Catterall in a fight which had seen the Englishman outperform his more illustrious opponent.
Yet, despite being on the receiving end of one of the most horrendous decisions in the history of elite championship boxing, he is adamant that it won’t stop him from pursuing his dream.
‘I’m 28 now and I believe my best years are ahead of me,’ Catterall tells Sportsmail. ‘I put on a great fight against Josh. It’s given me extra motivation.
‘I’ve got a young family. I still believe I’m going to become world champion. I’m confident I’ll have some big fights this year.’
His next opponent won’t be Taylor. The Scot is due to get married this summer. His short-term plans are on hold, while Catterall is gearing up for a return to action.
Taylor is due to get married this summer and his next opponent will not be Catterall again
But there is now a growing belief that the two fighters could agree to a rematch further down the line, perhaps later this year.
After their fight at The Hydro in February, Taylor was adamant that it would be his last at light-welterweight.
He admitted he was weight-drained. He looked ghastly on the scales and it was clear that he had struggled to make the weight.
He insisted that the only way he would agree to a rematch would be if Catterall moved up with him from 140 to 147lbs at welterweight.
But Taylor has since changed his tune. His promoters at Top Rank recently confirmed that negotiations are underway for him to fight American Jose Zepeda at 140.
Catterall has his own views on Taylor’s ability to make the weight at 140, pointing to the Scot’s victory over Jose Ramirez in Las Vegas last May which unified the division.
‘I think after the (Ramirez) fight, he’s been out and he’s enjoyed himself over the summer,’ says Catterall. ‘Our fight was scheduled for December, then it got put back to February.
‘I think he let himself go a bit too much. He needed extra time to get the weight off and it’s kind of become his excuse.
Catterall is now looking to the future as gears up for a return to action in the near future
‘He put a picture up after the weigh-in saying it was the best he’d ever felt. That’s why I’ve called him out on it and said he’s the king of contradiction.
‘But if he knuckles down and stays disciplined, I do believe he can still make 140.’
Catterall explains that his alarm bells were ringing not only when he heard the judges’ scorecards, but even well before that.
‘Even weeks before the fight, the tickets arrived and it was only Josh Taylor’s name on it,’ he says. ‘My name wasn’t even on the tickets.
‘Top Rank promoted the fight along with Sky. I wasn’t signed with anybody. I think they just totally dismissed me.
‘I look back now and think they really did write me off. They talked about Josh going on to fight Terence Crawford. I was just a big inconvenience for everybody.
‘I was gutted. It was 17 years of boxing I’d worked for that moment. So for someone else to take it out of my hands was devastating.’
Taylor’s promoters confirmed that negotiations are underway for him to fight Jose Zepeda
Since they fought three months ago, Taylor and Catterall have also traded blows on social media. Taylor has goaded and mocked Catterall, despite the vast majority of fans feeling like he lost.
There is a sense that the Prestonpans puncher hasn’t done himself any favours with how he has handled things in the aftermath.
Asked if his views of Taylor have changed given some of the comments, Catterall says: ‘No, not really. I’ve always thought he’s a bit of a d***.
‘He wouldn’t be the sort of person I’d phone to go for a coffee and a catch up. You just have to look through his timeline (on social media) and how he interacts with people.
‘I’ve never been a massive fan of him. That aside, I’m a fan of boxing and what he’s done in the sport. Credit to him for that.
‘After the fight and the way he’s continued to handle himself, he’s losing a lot of fans and a lot of respect.
Taylor has goaded and mocked Catterall, despite the vast majority of fans feeling like he lost
‘Although he got the decision, he knows he’s got to put things right and try and beat me. This is a blemish on his record.
‘A rematch is going to be his only saving grace going forward. He knows he has to fight me again.
‘He’s living in denial. Everybody – apart from Josh and maybe one or two diehard fans – have said he lost the fight.
‘I think he thought it might have settled down by now. But everything he posts on social media, you read through the comments and the fans are hammering him – and rightly so.
‘I think he knows he’s lost a lot of respect in the boxing world. That will be living with him every day and eating him up.
‘It was an injustice. I think he’s come to the realisation now that he has to fight me again and try to put it right.
Catterall (left) has admitted he still hasn’t watched a full replay of the fight in February
‘In the aftermath of the fight, I thought it (a rematch) was unlikely. But given the pressure that’s been put on Josh by the public, I’m confident.
‘I’ve had some interesting calls over the past couple of weeks. I’m under the impression now that Josh really wants this rematch. It’s bubbling now to be a big fight for both of us.
‘Politics aside, I do believe the fight can be made for the back end of this year. If he stays at 140, this is the only fight people want to see.’
Catterall hasn’t watched a full replay of the fight. That time will come when he prepares himself for his next venture into the ring.
Whilst fighting Taylor in Scotland again wouldn’t necessarily be his first choice, it’s not something he would shy away from either.
‘We had a good welcome in Scotland,’ he says. ‘I was treated really well. I executed everything I need to do in the fight. I think I won a few fans in Scotland that night, so I would consider it.’
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