Josh Taylor v Jack Catterall
Saturday February 26, 22:00, Live on Sky Sports
Battle of the Auld Enemy
Scotland's world light-welterweight champion Josh Taylor finally gets the homecoming show he has been pushing for as he takes on England's Jack Catterall. On Saturday, the Tartan Tornado lines up against El Gato at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow with four versions of the world title on the line. This is a chance for either Taylor or Catterall to start the year on a high, setting up a money-spinning season.
Taylor is one of the hottest prospects in boxing, and he has already won every championship he has targeted.
The fighter from Edinburgh is the favourite to extend his unbeaten run at the head of this show promoted by Bob Arum for Top Rank but faces a fellow unbeaten Brit who knows the right result in Glasgow could change his career.
Taylor is a P4P star
Josh Taylor is one of the most talented fighters Britain has produced and, arguably, the best to come out of Scotland. He is a pound for pound star of the sport who has reached the top level of his division despite having just 18 fights. The former amateur star turned professional in 2015 with a second-round TKO and has raced through the ranks ever since.
He currently boasts a perfect 18-fight record with 13 knockout wins already on his card. Ranked number one in the world, Taylor sits ahead of Jose Carlos Ramirez, who has had 27 bouts and Jose Zepeda on 37 bouts.
The 31-year-old southpaw was last seen in action in May of 2021 when beating number two Ramirez on points in Las Vegas. He won that unification bout courtesy of a unanimous decision, winning 114-112 on all three scorecards.
To do that as the away fighter on American soil tells the story of just how convincing he was that evening at Virgin Hotels. He has his heart set on many more nights like that but knows getting them depends on extending his winning run here.
Despite carrying a 73% KO average into this bout, three of Taylor's last four fights have gone the distance. That may be worth keeping in mind when making your predictions as Taylor is a 1.091/11 red-hot favourite in the fight winner betting on the Betfair Exchange.
Another points win appeals at 2.767/4 with a first KO/TKO since 2020 chalked up at 1.758/11.
Catterall out to spoil the party
Chorley's Catterall may be a rank outsider to win this fight with bettors, pundits and most followers of British boxing writing him off, but he's not in Glasgow to make up the numbers.
The southpaw is also an unbeaten fighter and is far more experienced than the man starting in the opposite corner, racking up a record of 26 wins and 13 knockouts. He's a dangerous opponent and a gladiator who knows his future hangs in the balance.
Win in Glasgow, and Catterall will send shockwaves through the sport, catapulting him through the rankings and closer to other big names of the division.
If he departs for England with the belts in his luggage, his phone won't stop ringing as the contenders try to convince him to defend against them. The big money offers will come flooding in as Jack becomes an overnight sensation. But he can't afford to get ahead of himself.
El Gato's record is impressive on paper, but a few questions arise when taking a closer look. He hasn't fought since scoring a 10-round points decision over little-known Tunisian fighter Abderrazak Houya in London over a year ago. Catterall is priced at 13.012/1 to win this bout with a points verdict 21.020/1, and the KO/TKO is deemed unlikely at 25.024/1.
Taylor's too good
Taylor is levels above Catterall, and the Scotsman will show it in Glasgow. The crowd will be right behind their man from the first bell, exaggerating the severity of any punches landed in the opening rounds.
The visitor will soon realise he is in over his head, and more than a year out of the ring won't do him any favours either.
This is a case of how Taylor wins, and that's where the value lies. Two southpaws rarely make for an explosive contest, and this bout could be a little more competitive than the odds suggest, but there will only be one winner. Back the Tartan Tornado to win on points.