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Boxing: In Conversation with Jack Catterall

Jack Catterall is ready for his chance to shock the world this coming Saturday. He faces a monumental task in the form of undisputed super-lightweight champion of the world, Scotland’s Josh Taylor.

A win on Saturday night would see ‘El Gato’ become England’s first undisputed champion, in the four belt era.

The Chorley native sat down with bet365’s Alex Olds to share his thoughts ahead of the fight of his life…

AO: How has camp been?

JC: Camp’s been good…I’m excited now. I’ve got through the hard training and all the sacrifices. This week it’s tapering down…couple of days up in Scotland, get myself weighed in and then we’ll be ready to go on Saturday.

AO: Mandatory for one title (WBO), yet fighting for all four….. You’ve waited patiently and deliberately for your shot, with the opportunity now there to pick up all four belts in the super-lightweight division.

Do you think a lot of other fighters should take a leaf out of your book?

JC: I guess everyone’s path is different. For me, they were calculated risks. Being mandatory for the WBO title for so long, I found so many roadbumps on this journey. Ultimately I had to stay patient and keep faith that my team MTK, Sky and BOXXER would come to the right decision.

Josh kept his word... and here I am on fight week, ready to win not just the one belt, but all of the marbles.

AO: After 16 months out of the ring, are you worried about having any ring rust?

JC: No.

People talk about ring rust, but I’m in the ring every day. I’m in the ring training, punching, sparring and we’ve seen it before with fighters all over the world who have retired and come back…a prime example would be Floyd Mayweather, who could go a year or 18 months without fighting and then come back at the highest level.

That is testament to how Floyd lives and how I’ve been living. Sparring, punching, running…doing everything in my ability to improve, while I’ve not had the fights.

AO: There is always a lot of talk about ‘levels’ in boxing….In the build up to this fight, Josh Taylor and Ben Davison have been clear that they believe you are not on Josh’s level. What do you make of those comments?

JC: Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I’ve yet to answer those questions at a world level. In the last couple of years, we’ve seen Josh test himself and come out on top at world level. Everyone has to go through that transition and I believe, come Saturday night, I’ll come from the domestic scene and fully announce myself on the world stage.

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AO: You’ve sparred the likes of Canelo, Brook, Khan and Floyd Mayweather…you’ve won the British title and beaten the likes of O’Hara Davies and Tyrone McKenna at a canter…there is a lot of evidence to suggest you’ll be more than comfortable at world level. Do you think you’ve been unfairly overlooked in the build up to this fight?

JC: I don’t read into it too much. People have been talking about the odds for the fight {Catterall is priced at 15/2} etc…. but I pay no attention to it. I’m fully confident in what I do and I’m fully focused on my job.

I’ll leave the critics to criticise… I know what I need to do on Saturday night; I need to perform at my very best to beat Josh and that is exactly what I intend to do.

AO: Do you see any weaknesses in Josh Taylor?

JC: Yeah, there are definitely weaknesses there. I’d say as an all-round fighter, Josh does a lot of things well…

But there are certainly chinks in the armour that we can exploit. We’ve studied, we’ve watched and we’ve implemented things into training. I don’t want to go into too much detail but there’s certainly things that I can exploit on Saturday.

And I believe that will be his downfall…

AO: How do you envisage winning this fight?

JC: Honestly, I’m preparing to come up there and do whatever it takes. If the knockout comes, that would be sweet…but I know it’s going to be a tough fight, a long fight and if it goes the distance, so be it.

AO: Having spent a fair bit of time with him, what do you make of Josh Taylor as a man?

JC: Josh has been alright. I don’t read into his split personality too much. We’ve seen other fight weeks where there’s a bit of needle there but that’s all well and good.

I’m quite laid back…Like I say, there’s no hard feelings towards Josh. It’s a fight – may the best man win.

AO: If you win, you will become only the second undisputed world champion from Britain and one of the biggest names in British boxing overnight….. Are you prepared for that kind of spotlight?

JC: This is what I’ve been training my whole life for. It’s not just 10, 12 weeks training…It’s 10 years of being professional which have led me to this point.

I fully intend to embrace the spotlight through picking up all those titles and everything that goes with it.

AO: We’re going to ask you now to build your perfect pugilist; your 360 degree fighter. This is something we’ve done with Liam Williams, Chris Eubank Jr and recently Kell Brook…

Any fighter past or present, give us your picks for:

Chin – Gennady Golovkin

Power – Mike Tyson

Footwork – Pernell Whitaker

Heart – Muhammad Ali

Speed – Amir Khan

bet365 is the Official Betting Partner of Josh Taylor v Jack Catterall brought to you by BOXXER. Sign up with bet365 and view the latest odds on BOXXER’s events.

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