Jack Catterall finally has the fight of his dreams. The 32Red ambassador was elevated to the number one spot in the WBO rankings back in January 2019 but has spent that time as just another cog in the boxing machine. After more than two years of being overlooked and pushed to one side he has finally been rewarded for his patience.
On December 18th, unbeaten Catterall will run the gauntlet and venture to Glasgow to take on undisputed junior welterweight champion, Josh Taylor. The atmosphere inside the SSE Arena will be pulsating as the Scottish fans get to welcome home their hero but very little flusters Catterall and the 28-year-old is relishing the opportunity he has earned.
There will be countless belts and national bragging rights on the line but most importantly, the winner will truly be able to call themselves the best 140lb fighter on the planet. For odds on all the latest fights, visit our sportsbook.
Will Taylor defend his undisputed title or will Catterall fulfil his promise and take the belts? All questions will be answered in three months time but 32Red caught up with Catterall to find out how he is feeling now the fight he has always dreamed of has been agreed.
“I’ve said in the past that I didn’t care where the fight was as long as it got made. I was always confident it would be as long as Josh’s hands were okay and fair play to him, he’s honoured his word. There were probably other options there but it does make sense for Josh too. It’s a massive fight in the UK. He gets the homecoming he wanted and I’m the only man over here for the job.
“I think the key factors were that I was mandatory challenger, we’re under the same management and it’s an all British fight. Those were selling points for him. It might have been different if I was just some unknown foreign fighter who he might not have got as much dough for fighting.
“Josh would be daft to underestimate me but I don’t think he will with being with his new coach. I saw an interview the other day where he was half respectful. He said that he thinks I’m a good fighter who’ll come and give his all but that he’s better in every department. I don’t think he is and I also think that come fight night if he isn’t fully prepared I will definitely have all the answers for him.
“I just think that I’ve always proven myself against tougher opposition and now I don’t just get a shot at the WBO belt because of my mandatory position, I get a shot at all the belts. The hunger I’ve got for this is through the roof.
“I’ve had a few encounters with Josh. He responded to one of my stories on instagram and we saw him out in Vegas before his fight with Jose Ramirez and he invited us back to the room. I know he goes on about this split personality where he turns into ‘Hank’ but I’m not sure about that really.
“There were only about a thousand fans there against Ramirez. I thought he boxed well and won but there were flaws in his performance. You never know, it might just turn things on its head when that arena’s full of Scottish fans and he might get caught up in it all but that makes no difference to me. I’ll be ready for whatever Josh turns up though.
“I’ve had to wait a long time but things couldn’t have turned out any better. There was talk about if I stepped aside to let the Ramirez fight happen the title might become vacant or this might happen or that might happen but it’s fallen into exactly the place I wanted it to fall. There is no bigger prize in boxing than a fight for all the belts and the Ring magazine belt against the number one fighter in your weight class. It doesn’t happen often. I’m gonna take this with both hands.
“I’m in the right place at the right time. I’m a British fighter, I’m the mandatory challenger and he’s won all the belts. It makes sense and it’s a case of opportunity meeting preparation. The opportunity is here, now I’ve gotta prepare to do it.
“I’m over the moon for Maxi Hughes. I’ve always liked Maxi and it was nice to have been able to give him some sparring rounds early in his camp for his fight last weekend. I didn’t count him out. I knew that if anybody could beat that Straffon, it would be Maxi.
“I’ve sparred him enough times to know that over the past two years he’s just got better with every fight. He stayed disciplined, had a tight defence and although he tried to get him out of there and tired himself out a bit, he got back to his boxing, moved around and hit without getting hit. I was delighted for him.
“It’s crazy how things change. I’d be lying if I said there haven’t been days when I haven’t overthought things or beat myself up over whether I’d made the right decision and worried about what I was going to do but there’s always been food on the table, my family is all good and I’ve got the fight of my dreams where I can change my life for the better. Everything’s good at the moment.”