The 18-0 Josh Taylor became the undisputed world junior welterweight champion when he scored a unanimous decision over Jose Ramirez on May 22, 2021. On February, 26, the No. 5 ranked fighter in boxing, according to “The Ring” Magazine pound-for-pound rankings, Taylor, who is a 31-year-old Scottish fighter, puts his titles on the line against 28-year-old Englishman, Jack Catterall. Catterall is a perfect 26-0 and coming off a November 2020 win over Abderrazak Houya. Catterall is unranked according to “The Ring.”
Fight: Josh Taylor vs. Jack Catterall
On the line: Undisputed World Junior Welterweight Title
Date: Saturday, February 26, 2022, at 10 p.m. ET
Venue: SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland
Josh Taylor vs. Jack Catterall odds
Josh Taylor vs. Jack Catterall prediction and pick
Taylor’s first defence of his undisputed crown comes in front of a hometown crowd. The last time he fought in Scotland, Taylor scored a decision win over Ivan Baranchyk. That fight took place in May 2019. Expect Taylor to get a raucous welcome home for his matchup against Catterall.
This is a huge step up in competition for Catterall. As an unranked fighter, he has never faced someone as good as Taylor. He is essentially being thrown to wolves here. He is a monster underdog. Catterall really has nothing to lose here. He has power and poise in the boxing ring, but he is coming off a long layoff and facing someone like Taylor is a huge ask for him. I think this fight will be good for exposure and experience for Catterall, but I don’t see him winning.
Taylor has advantages in height and reaches in this bout as well as high-level experience and power. I think he is fully committed to this fight and that he is taking it seriously. He bowed out of the original date for this bout, December 18, to better recover from a knee injury. If he was taking the title defence lightly, Taylor could have fought then. Instead, he sees this homecoming contest as a way to launch himself to bigger and better things. I think he does that and I think he scores the knockout in this one.
Prediction: Josh Taylor via knockout
Who has the edge?
Taylor has the edge everywhere in this fight, but the danger in a bout where one fighter is heavily favoured over the other is the better competitor can get caught looking ahead. That’s the biggest danger for Taylor in this scrap.
Taylor told “The Ring,” “I’d like to move up to 147 and become a two-weight world champion,” said Taylor when speaking to The Ring. “Chase some of these big, massive fights, that’s what I want to do. Go straight in with someone like (Yordenis ) Ugas (WBA welterweight champ), make a big statement.”
Taylor needs to put those thoughts in the back of his mind ahead of facing Catterall.
What’s on the line?
Taylor has a dilemma. While he can’t look past Catterall, he kind of needs to if he wants to get more recognition and more money in the boxing world. If he defeats Catterall soundly, a move up to welterweight to face the likes of Ugas, Terence Crawford (WBO champ) and Errol Spence Jr. (IBF and WBC champ), could open up for him. This fight could kick down a lot of doors for Taylor.
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