Although Catterall (25-0, 13 KO’s) and his fellow 32Red ambassador, Frampton, both have world title fights pencilled in for the non-too distant future, both have been pitched into the unenviable position of having to decide whether to wait out the pandemic and head into their respective fights cold or cram in a keep-busy fight and accept all the risks that come with that. Frampton seems set to fight in late July or August but although Catterall is the number one contender for José Ramirez’s WBO junior welterweight title, at the moment he is stuck in a frustrating no man’s land.
“I always think that long lay-offs are never as bad for a fighter at Carl’s stage of his career as they are for somebody like Jack,” Moore said. “Jack’s been forced into an 18 month wait for a world title shot. That’s not ideal. He’s coming into his prime and he could do with momentum. Jack hasn’t been away from the gym. He’s kept his form, his sharpness and he’s kept his discipline. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. In fact, he could have given me a bit less than he has and I would have still been happy. I’m absolutely over the moon with his dedication in such a frustrating time.
“Jack’s such a nice kid. It couldn’t have happened to a worse person. If anybody deserves a break it’s him. I just hope that as things pan out towards the end of the year he gets his opportunity.
Ramirez has been scheduled to fight Viktor Postol for months but that is the type of fight that would likely require large purses and a paying audience. The current situation might actually mean that as a mandatory challenger, Catterall gets his shot sooner than expected but as the champion is unlikely to leave his fortress of Fresno, California for anything other than a super fight, this would throw up a whole host of problems regarding travel, hotels, quarantine and money.
“If you have to go away to quarantine before a fight then how am I gonna manage that with so many fighters?” Moore said. “Nigel Travis can help out because he’s always there alongside me but I’d be pretty hesitant to do it. The one situation where I wouldn’t hesitate and would instantly say, ‘Yeah, I’ll go to America for two weeks’ would be for Jack Catterall to get his opportunity because he deserves it.
“Jack turned over young and he’s got an old head on young shoulders. I’d love Ramirez next.”
Laws and government advice are shifting on an almost daily basis at the moment. With the current situation making it extremely unlikely that fighters will be arriving from foreign shores, it seems like boxing fans might be treated to a series of domestic clashes throughout the summer. With that in mind, Moore has a proposal which should be music to the ears of British fight fans.
“I love domestic fights. There is always a bit of a story to it. The only issue you might have is at the top end of the scale where there isn’t as much money knocking about because of the lack of crowds. I do think you’re gonna see a lot of domestic level fights going on though and that’s what we all wanna see. That’s one of the positives that might come out of this.
“It’s difficult because of finances but if he’s got to fight a British opponent, let him fight Josh Taylor. If the money is there for it to be done why not? Jack’s the mandatory for a world title – albeit not one of the ones that Taylor has got – but if Taylor can’t get an opponent and has to fight somebody British, why not stick them in together?”