The date of the Josh Taylor-Jack Catterall rematch will change yet again.
Promoter Bob Arum has confirmed to BoxingScene.com that Taylor and Catterall will not fight February 4, as planned. Their second fight for Taylor’s WBO junior welterweight title will instead take place either later in February or at some point in March.
BoxingScene.com has learned that the reason for the Taylor-Catterall postponement was to place more time between two Sky Sports Box Office pay-per-view shows in the United Kingdom and Ireland. British middleweights Chris Eubank Jr. (32-2, 23 KOs) and Liam Smith (32-3-1, 19 KOs) are already set to headline a Sky Sports Box Office card January 21 at AO Arena in Manchester, England.
Though the date of their second fight hasn’t been determined, Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs), of Prestonpans, Scotland, and Catterall (26-1, 13 KOs), of Chorley, England, will still fight at OVO Hydro in Glasgow. Taylor edged Catterall by split decision at that same venue last February 26.
Catterall’s team pushed for their fight to take place outside of Taylor’s home country, but the challenger eventually agreed to fight Taylor in Glasgow again. Taylor, though highly motivated to beat Catterall more convincingly in their rematch, wasn’t obligated to face Catterall again and therefore maintained leverage in their negotiations.
It initially appeared as though Taylor and Catterall would fight again November 26 at OVO Hydrow, but their rematch eventually was pushed into 2023. It seems now that more than a year will have passed between their two bouts, but Taylor has been adamant about attempting to redeem himself for what the Scottish southpaw considers a subpar performance against Catterall nine months ago.
Catterall surprisingly sent Taylor to the canvas early in the eighth round of that 12-round fight for Taylor’s IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO belts.
Taylor recovered quickly and came back to edge Catterall on the scorecards of judges Ian-John Lewis (114-111) and Victor Loughlin (113-112). Judge Howard Foster scored Catterall a 113-112 winner over Taylor.
Referee Marcus McDonnell took a point from Catterall for holding, which accounted for the difference on Loughlin’s scorecard. If not for that point deduction during the 10th round, Taylor-Catterall would’ve resulted in a split draw because Loughlin would’ve had it even (113-113).
McDonnell deducted a point from Taylor as well, for hitting Catterall after the bell sounded to end the 11th round.
The 31-year-old Taylor will defend only his WBO crown in their rematch because the former fully unified 140-pound champion has given up his IBF, WBA and WBC belts since his first fight with Catterall. The 29-year-old Catterall was the WBO’s mandatory challenger for Taylor before their initial bout.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.