Since boxing began, newspapers, magazines, television channels and websites have used the same time-honoured way of assessing a fighter and their capabilities. 

They will work their way down a checklist and put their scores or thoughts alongside a series of categories. Usually tagged on to the end, alongside sections like “Boxing ability” and “Chin”, there will be another: “Intangibles.”

It is an open-ended topic and widely open to interpretation but it includes all the things you can feel but not see about a fighter. “Do they have heart? Do they live the life? Do they possess that hard-to-define X factor?”

Businessmen can easily sit down with a spreadsheet and scroll through a list of numbers to show why a fight doesn’t make financial sense but fights – like the fighters themselves – sometimes have an appeal that can’t be quantified by figures and data. 

It has taken two years for boxing’s power-brokers to get Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall back in the ring. They disliked each other before Taylor got off the floor to retain his undisputed super lightweight title with a highly controversial split-decision victory over the man from Chorley. Now, they detest each other. 

Boxing is a business but it is also a law unto itself and with fights like this, office talk about a fighter's past ticket sales, pay-per-view buys and global reach don’t hold as much weight. Put Taylor and Catterall together and sparks fly.

The first fight was shown on Sky Sports in February 2022 and while they were interested in staging the rematch, Matchroom and DAZN pounced and will stage the super lightweight rematch on April 27. 

“This is the first time I’ve been involved in a  fight where they’re capable of attacking each other at any moment,” said Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn “Nobody even has to say anything. One of them can give a look and the other jumps up.

“It does make you realise how simple boxing is if you can make the right fights but it’s quite unusual to get a rematch of an undisputed fight where the public feel like the loser was robbed in a fight.”

There is a recent parallel and it is one that makes the delay in realising exactly what a rematch between Taylor and Catterall is capable of producing all the more puzzling. 

In November 2013 Carl Froch and George Groves met in Manchester for Froch’s unified super middleweight title. After a fractious build-up and nine rounds of savagery, the referee Howard Foster’s decision to step in and halt the fight in Froch’s favour took their rivalry to a new level.

Froch and Groves capitalised on the controversy of their first fight and rode the momentum to a sold-out Wembley Stadium six months later. Froch concluded that rivalry with an eighth-round stoppage in a fight that captured the public’s imagination.

In contrast, the trail was almost allowed to go completely cold for Taylor-Catterall II. The controversy and hatred that built up in the weeks after Taylor’s hand was raised meant that a rematch had already sold itself but, although interest began, to wane, its announcement has reignited their rivalry and they will finally meet in front of around 13,000 fans at the First Direct Arena in Leeds. 

“It feels a lot like Froch and Groves because Jack was the mandatory challenger at the time,” Hearn said. “Josh was undisputed at the time and he got a bit disrespected in the build-up and thought to himself, ‘Who’s this guy?’ and probably underperformed. The controversy hit on fight night and then they couldn’t stand each other. That was all the same as Froch-Groves but that wasn’t as violent as this.

“Josh does it [controls his aggression] well inside the ring but this is different. When they look at each other, they want to destroy each other. If they went at it in the street, it’d be to the death.”

The delay has given the fight an extra sense of jeopardy. It may be a deeply personal grudge match but – more importantly – the result will be of huge significance for both fighters’ futures. There may not be a world title at stake this time around but the stakes regardless couldn’t be much higher. Taylor and Catterall will need to put the hostility and and animosity to one side and focus solely on the task at hand if they are to wake up the morning after with any hopes of continuing their career at the highest level.

“Jack wants to fight for a world title,” Hearn said. “If he loses against Josh, he’ll be at least two fights away from that. What do you do? Come back and have another fight for what, £100,000? Josh, if he gets beaten by Jack I think his career could be over. He could go to 147lbs but if he gets stopped, his career might well be over. A defeat in the fight could well be career ending for both of them.”