Josh Taylor returns to defend his undisputed 140 lb championship this Saturday in Glasgow, Scotland, facing mandatory challenger Jack Catterall in the main event, which will air on ESPN+ in the United States and Sky Sports in the United Kingdom.
Taylor (18-0, 13 KO) is a big favorite, but we’ve seen some big favorites fall in fights recently, and Catterall (26-0, 13 KO) basically has nothing to lose in the matchup.
Will we see another upset, or will Taylor continue his dominance at 140?
Scott Christ (4-5)
I think Catterall’s a good boxer, and as mandatory challengers come, he’s far from the worst or least interesting. He also had the decency to step aside and allow the Ramirez-Taylor fight for the undisputed title; I mean, you get some money for doing that, but he didn’t have to, and when he did, boxing fans got a fight they really wanted to see.
I don’t think Catterall is going to be good enough to beat Taylor, who is skilled, tough, can punch, and has proven himself the top dog at 140 over the last few years, beating Ramirez and Regis Prograis in terrific fights that tested all three of those men, and he also has strong wins over Ivan Baranchyk and Viktor Postol. He’s consistently proven himself the real deal at every level on his way to the top. I think Catterall will have moments where he boxes nicely with Taylor, but there will be gears Taylor can go to that I don’t believe Catterall has. But this wouldn’t be the first time a previously believed “good” fighter upset a previously believed “great” fighter in recent months, and “COVID era” boxing has seen plenty of stunners. I’m learning very well to not be shocked anymore. Taylor UD-12
Wil Esco (6-3)
It’s no secret that I’ve been on the Josh Taylor bandwagon for years now as I’ve long assessed him as one of the very best fighters in the sport with a mixture of skill, technique, and tenacity that makes him one of my personal favorites to watch. That mean streak in Taylor really shows up in fights and puts him in position to take some return fire, not all too dissimilar from Terence Crawford, which leaves some believing he’s vulnerable. For me, though, it’s Taylor’s effective and accurate body punching that generally sets him apart from the 140 pack.
As for Catterall, I think he’s a perfectly competent fighter who will come as prepared as he possibly can but there’s levels to this game and I think Taylor is a clear level above Catterall. Taylor has spent sufficient time talking about big fights that could come after this outing, and if Taylor truly overlooks this fight then maybe he’ll be in for a tougher matchup than expected. I do, however, fully expect Taylor to take care of business and stop Catterall by way of accumulated damage. Taylor TKO-7
John Hansen (6-3)
I am not a Josh Taylor hater. But, if I’m being honest, I’m a habitual Josh Taylor doubter.
When he fought Regis Prograis in the WBSS final, I expected Prograis to win a top shelf fight. And in the undisputed unification with Jose Ramirez, I expected Ramirez to win another top shelf fight. I was half right both times, and I applaud myself for getting the important half correct.
Viktor Postol also fights this weekend against Gary Antuanne Russell as part of the Chris Colbert undercard. I probably wouldn’t pick Postol in that fight. But back in 2018, I thought Postol was going to beat Josh Taylor.
Taylor is an undisputed, undefeated champion that somehow got fixed in my head as never quite as formidable as his championship level opponents. Obviously, I’m wrong, and it’s just a weird blind spot I have for a fighter I really do respect and enjoy.
I have no idea why I seem to underestimate Josh Taylor every time he takes on a respectable challenger. And Jack Catterall is a very respectable boxer! But, even I expect Taylor to blast the hell out of him. Taylor TKO-6
Patrick Stumberg (5-4)
As skilled and entertaining as Catterall can be, I just don’t see how he wins this. It’s a battle of body-punching southpaws where the A-side has a significant edge in power, footwork, and top-level experience. We’ve seen Taylor match and occasionally overpower top-notch bruisers like Regis Prograis and Jose Ramirez, both of whom pack quite a bit more of a wallop than “El Gato.”
Catterall only has a chance if Taylor is rushing back to action without fully rehabilitating his injured knee, which seems profoundly unlikely considering the stakes. It’ll be fun and competitive for maybe a round or two, but Taylor’s class should show itself before long. “The Tartan Tornado” mulches Catterall’s midsection for a mid- to late-round finish. Taylor TKO-8