A reminder of what is potentially at stake this weekend for Jack Catterall was on stage during Matchroom Boxing’s other major piece of business this weekend.
Regis Prograis and Devin Haney held court in San Francisco to formally announce their December 9 WBC junior welterweight title fight. The fight will headline a DAZN Pay-Per-View from the Chase Center, home to the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.
Matchroom takes the lead for the show but had to quickly shift gears from the press conference launch to its live show this weekend at M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool. England’s Catterall (27-1, 13KOs) faces Jorge Linares in a fight he hopes to lead to a second career title shot.
“Jack Catterall wants what he believe he deserves and that’s a shot at the world championship,” promoter Eddie Hearn stated during an in-house interview which was posted on Matchroom Boxing’s YouTube channel. “He feels he should be the undisputed champion. You can’t change what happened. It’s in the past, gone.
“He now wants a shot at the winner of [Haney-Prograis].”
Catterall is a steady -1000 favorite to prevail in this weekend’s junior welterweight contest versus the faded, former three-division titlist. Linares (47-8, 29KOs) is a perfect 4-0 versus UK boxers, including three wins in as many trips to jolly old England, but is also 38 years old and on a three-fight losing streak.
Just one win has followed for Catterall since his highly questionable split decision defeat to then-unbeaten and undisputed 140-pound champion Josh Taylor last February 26 in Glasgow, Scotland. The two attempted to rematch, only to endure no fewer than four postponements before the fight was outright canceled.
There remains uncertainty as to the next move for Haney (30-0, 15KOs) with a win–or a loss, for that matter—on December 9, whether he will stay at 140 or return to lightweight where he is still the lineal and unified champion. A victory for Prograis (29-1, 24KOs) should provide the New Orleans-bred southpaw with the assignment of his dreams for his next fight.
Catterall also boasts options, whether waiting out December 9 or revisiting old business with Taylor who is now an ex-champ after a June 10 decision defeat to Teofimo Lopez in New York City.
“Now, of course the Josh Taylor (rematch) is the biggest fight to make commercially,” noted Hearn. “If he beats Jorge Linares this weekend and we can’t make Jack Catterall versus the winner of this fight, I believe he should go on and fight Josh Taylor in a fight that sells out in Glasgow, sells out in Manchester.
“It's a great night for Jack Catterall. He’s got to look good against Jorge Linares. He’s 4-0 against the Brits. I know he’s at the back end of his career. But he’s training with Ismael Salas and coming with everything he’s got.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox