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JACK CATTERALL SAVOURS JOSH TAYLOR WIN AND CALLS FOR WORLD TITLE FIGHT WITH TEOFIMO LOPEZ NEXT

PhilBoxing.com
Sun, 26 May 2024




'El Gato' moves to 29-1 with unanimous points victory over Scotsman at sold-out Leeds First Direct Arena

Jack Catterall sealed it with a kiss as the Chorley Super-Lightweight ended a two-year wait for revenge by beating Josh Taylor in Leeds last night.

In what will go down as one of the best British bouts of the year so far, there was an element of controversy once more in this powder keg clash between the two auld enemies with the judges scoring coming into question like their first contest some two years ago.

But there was little doubt that the right man had his hands raised in victory this time round as Catterall avenged the sole defeat of his career thus far with a unanimous 117-111, 117-111, 116-113 points victory.

An electric sold-out crowd of 12,000 fans at the Leeds First Direct Arena congratulated the Jamie Moore-trained fighter on his long-overdue success – led, of course, by his biggest supporter and proud partner Lauren Finch, who Catterall will marry in 10 days’ time.

And after the pair embraced in the centre of the ring, Catterall (29-1, 13 KOs) was quick to outline his ambitions of becoming a World Champion in the 140lbs division with his sights set firmly on securing the straps he felt he should have acquired in Glasgow back in 2022 when he was first denied against a then-undisputed king in Taylor.

Catterall, who remarkably runs the Manchester 10k today (Sunday) despite his gruelling extolls less than 24 hours ago, underlined his targets during a post-fight press conference alongside Matchroom chairman Eddie Hearn – and revealed his hopes to face WBO and Ring Magazine World Champion, Teofimo Lopez next.

“The World Title has always been the dream for me,” said Catterall.

“We didn’t get the undisputed and we didn’t get the World Titles last time. But that’s fine because that chapter has been rewritten now.

“We’re in a great position and Eddie (Hearn) has a massive stable at 140 so I want that World Title fight.

“I was mandatory for the WBO title for what felt like a lifetime. He beat Taylor before I did. We’ve both had a win over him and now I want to prove that I’m better than him. I believe I’ve got the style to beat Lopez and that’s the fight I want.

"It’s time to share the ring with you (Teofimo Lopez). Let’s see who the true champion is."

On winning the fight last night, the 30-year-old added: “It was a big relief. We’ve been there before, and I turned straight to Eddie (Hearn) because I thought I’d won the first fight clearly and then I thought I had won this one clearly too. But you never know with some of the scorecards, so to get the decision was a right relief for me.

“I knew the threats that Josh would bring and that I needed to stay disciplined and not get too complacent in there. But I also knew I needed to push and squeeze for this victory, as I knew I wouldn’t be able to coast to the win. I had to keep my emotions intact and take the opportunities when I saw them.

“You’ve got to be prepared for every outcome and to adapt. We didn’t know whether Josh would. come out of the blocks for the first four rounds or whether he was going to try and drag it out in the later rounds. I trained hard and you must be ready for anything in there. I’d had a long camp with some great sparring partners, so ultimately, I just had to adjust and tackle what was put in front of me.

Matchroom Sport chairman Eddie Hearn agrees that Catterall has now earned the right to challenge for a world title – and insists the Englishman would have no trouble accomplishing that feat should he collide with Lopez next.

“After a fight like that, with that kind of profile in front of a sold-out crowd and huge worldwide audience live on DAZN and also, in the U.S, on ESPN+, Jack is right up there,” Hearn said.

“Of course, people talk about the trilogy (with Taylor). For me, I will always look at the biggest fights out there. But it’s also important we look at the big fights for the career of Jack Catterall.

“He should have been the undisputed World Champion, so we now need to try and position him for a World Championship. When you have a performance like that and a night like that, positioning someone like that is far more easier to do because people want to see it.

“We have Subriel Matias fighting Liam Paro in a couple of weeks (June 15) and we will have Devin Haney fighting Sandor Martin.

"Teofimo Lopez is fighting Steve Claggett – and, without being disrespectful to Steve Claggett, it is a disgrace. It’s a joke fight for someone who says he’s the best 140lb in the world. Jack Catterall is the guy who should be fighting Teofimo Lopez, and we believe he will beat him all day long.

“We believe that Jack should be a World Champion now, but that’s a thing of the past and is now the next step and the natural step. One thing we know for sure, it will be a massive fight next – and, if I have a choice, it will be for a World Title against Lopez."

Gravesend Cruiserweight Cheavon Clarke progressed to 9-0 (7 KOs) as he stopped Ellis Zorro in eight rounds to claim the vacant British Title in the chief support bout, Limerick Welterweight Paddy Donovan (14-0, 11 KOs) moved a step closer to a showdown with the winner of Lewis Crocker vs. Conah Walker by halting Lewis Ritson in nine rounds to retain his WBA Continental Title, Naas Lightweight Gary Cully (18-1, 10 KOs) picked up the vacant WBA Continental Title by outpointing Francesco Patera over ten rounds, Aldershot Lightweight Giorgio Visilio (3-0, 3 KOs) made it three knockouts from three fights against Sergio Odabai, Billericay Middleweight George Liddard (7-0, 4 KOs) picked up his second with of the year against Graham McCormack and Newham Super-Welterweight Leli Buttigieg (4-0, 1 KO) kicked off the Before The Bell action by decisioning Anas Isarti.



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