By Steve Kim Updated on May 23, 2024

Taylor-Catterall II, Repeat or Redemption?

Picture for Taylor-Catterall II, Repeat or Redemption?

So as we turn the page from Oleksandr Usyk's historic victory over Tyson Fury, we now look ahead to the rematch between Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall. This bout takes place at the First Direct Arena in Leeds. Much has changed since they first met a couple of years ago.

Back in the beginning of 2022, Taylor was considered one of the very best, and most accomplished boxers in the sport. For good reason, too. He won the World Boxing Super Series by defeating Ryan Martin, Ivan Baranchyk, and Regis Prograis. Then a bit later he became the undisputed junior welterweight crown by out-pointing Jose Ramirez in May of 2021.

At this juncture, he was on the very short list of elite pound-for-pound boxers alongside the likes of Terence Crawford, Naoya Inoue, Oleksandr Usyk, and Saul Alvarez. 'The Tartan Tornado' was part of the 'Fab Five'.

Picture for Taylor-Catterall II, Repeat or Redemption?Top Rank

When he faced Catterall in February of 2022, Taylor swaggered into the bout believing that Catterall would be nothing more than a mere nuisance on his way to bigger and better things. 

Then a funny thing happened -- nobody told Catterall.

Josh Taylor Gets Knocked Down, Rallies, Retains Undisputed Titles in Fight of the Year | HIGHLIGHTS


Not only was Catterall pesky and clever that night at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, he punctuated his performance by flooring Taylor in round eight. As the bell sounded for the end of the 12th, the consensus was that Catterall had done enough to pull off the upset. Unfortunately for him, he was on the short end of a very dubious decision.

While Taylor retained his undisputed crown, he lost his standing among the game's elite. While the judges had him winning, the court of public opinion had him losing. 

Picture for Taylor-Catterall II, Repeat or Redemption?Matchroom Sports

A proposed rematch a year later was scuttled as Taylor suffered a foot injury. Then in the aftermath, Taylor made the decision to face Teofimo Lopez in June of 2023. In that bout, he was defeated handily over 12 rounds. First, his reputation was damaged, now his belts were officially gone.

So what happened to the fighter that was so highly regarded not all that long ago?

Taylor let his blade get dull.  Yeah, I'll say it again -- activity matters. 

As you look at Taylor's record, you see that 2019 (the year he finished out the WBSS tourney) was the last year he fought more than once. From that point on he has fought just once every calendar year -- with diminishing returns. In 2020, during the pandemic, he stopped his mandatory challenger, Apinun Khongsong, in one round. Which was followed by his 2021 victory over Ramirez. He had his dubious victory against 'Catt' in 2022, and then his loss to Lopez. 

There is speculation that the lanky Taylor (who is listed at 5'10), at age 33, has a difficult time making the junior welterweight limit.

It should be pointed out that this bout had been delayed. It was originally scheduled for late April before Taylor, once again, suffered an injury. You can argue if it's causation or correlation, but in recent years Taylor has become more injury prone as he fights less and less. 

Picture for Taylor-Catterall II, Repeat or Redemption?Matchroom

Despite his diminishing returns, Taylor is still rated second in the division by Ring Magazine, while Catterall is ranked seventh. You wonder if that's more about past perception then the current reality.

It is also worth nothing that Catterall hasn't been that much more active than Taylor. Of course, part of the reason is because Taylor kept backing out or delaying their second chapter. Last year, he defeated the likes of Darragh Foley (W10) and Jorge Linares (W12).

If there is a fighter that can get Taylor's juices flowing again, it's Catterall. The bottom line is they detest one another. Every time they are within arms distance, inevitably they put hands on one another. You get the sense that even after this fight, they will never truly have an armistice like many other ring rivals of the past (think Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales) 

Picture for Taylor-Catterall II, Repeat or Redemption?Matchroom Sports

Years from now if they are in the same retirement home, they'd probably be throwing walkers and swinging their canes at one another, before being pulled away for their nightly sponge baths. 

The hunch here is that Catterall will even things up. Bottom line, I believe he is the sharper blade. 



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About Author
Taylor-Catterall II, Repeat or Redemption?
  • Hosted 'the Main Event' on KIEV 870, and then later XTRA AM1150 ( a three hour show devoted to boxing) from 1996 to 1999.
  • Joined one of the first boxing websites, 'House of Boxing' in 1999, and then later became one of the founders of Maxboxing, that started in 2001, till his departure in 2014.
  • From 2014 to 2018, he was the lead columnist for
  • Was a boxing reporter for from 2018 to 2020.
  • He has written for Ring Magazine, International Boxing Digest and Boxing News.
  • Is the co-host of 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez, which has become of the most popular boxing podcasts the past several years.
  • Steve has also served as an announcer and analyst for RingTV, Thompson Boxing, 360 Promotions and CBS Sports Network.