Following major controversy two weeks again, Josh Taylor says he’s open to a rematch with Jack Catterall, but that it would “most likely” happen at a catchweight, and not for Taylor’s undisputed championship at 140 lbs, which he seems destined to vacate.
From Sky Sports:
“We’ll see what happens down the line. We can have a fight again with Jack, why not? I’m certainly open to it, so we’ll see what happens. Most likely at a catchweight. I can’t make the weight anymore safely, I don’t think. So we’ll see how it goes, but I’m keen for a rematch.”
Taylor won a split decision over Catterall on Feb. 26, a decision that was ripped to shreds by those in the boxing game, let alone pundits and fans, who were also near unanimous in their disgust with the scoring of judges Victor Loughlin and Ian John-Lewis, who saw the bout in Taylor’s favor. The British Boxing Board of Control have vowed to “investigate” the scoring, but almost nobody figures anything will really come of that.
The 31-year-old Taylor (19-0, 13 KO) looks set to move up to the welterweight division, which was expected to happen after the bout with Catterall (26-1, 13 KO) anyway, but obviously this isn’t exactly how he wanted to do it. It was noted at the weigh-in before the bout that Taylor looked pretty drawn on the scales, and it does seem proper time for him to move up. He no longer has an in-house fight to make with WBO titlist Terence Crawford — who filed suit against Top Rank after announcing he was leaving the company — but he may have to do it simply because making 140 is no longer a good option, as he says.
Catterall trainer Jamie Moore says he hopes to see Catterall get a chance to fight for all four vacant titles should Taylor do as expected, but that is about 99 percent certain to be a pipe dream, with Catterall likely only to get a shot at a vacated WBO title if and when Taylor scatters the straps.
Catterall could probably make more money doing, say, a 143 or 144 lb catchweight bout with Taylor than he would fighting Liam Paro, for instance, for the vacant WBO belt at 140, but would it really be worth it? Most people already think he beat Taylor, and there would be nothing on the line except pride in a catchweight rematch. He’s yet to win a world title at age 28, even though most agree he should have four and be an undisputed champion right now.
Would Catterall rather fight for a vacant belt or chase the Taylor rematch? That will depend on what he sees as more important. If he were to do a Taylor rematch at a catchweight, the WBO would quite likely move on to fill their 140 vacancy with an ordered fight between Paro and Teofimo Lopez, or whatever combination of highest-ranked fighters take the bout, and if Catterall lost to Taylor in a rematch, he might find himself having to work back into position to force another world title shot. But it’s a short-term career, boxing, and if the money is really right — well, let’s just say Catterall may have some thinking to do.