Taylor Relishing Additional Time To Prepare For Rematch With Catterall

Josh Taylor expects the postponement of his fight with Jack Catterall to be to his advantage.

Their date of April 27 at Leeds’ First Direct Arena has been moved to May 25 to give him additional time to recover from the squint surgery he had in February, but he is relishing the prospect of additional time to prepare for the rematch with his greatest rival.

Taylor was awarded a controversial decision over Catterall in February 2022, when he therefore retained his undisputed super lightweight title, and the rematch scheduled for March 2023 was cancelled when he suffered a torn plantar fascia.

The 33 year old had been expected to push to fight at welterweight instead of remain at super lightweight, but if fears had existed about his ability to again make 140lbs he has an additional month to do so and to perfect his preparations for what represents his second fight under his trainer Joe McNally.

“I’m still training full steam ahead,” the Scot said. “I’m just not sparring for the time being.

“It just gives us more time. Especially when you’ve not been able to spar. It’s good. It gives me more time to get in better shape and it’s delaying the beatdown I’m gonna give him. It’s good. It’s all good.

“We’ve got plenty of good sparring partners already lined up.”

Catterall, 30, last fought in October when he outpointed Jorge Linares. Taylor was outpointed by Teofimo Lopez in June, sacrificing his WBO title and ensuring that the grudge match with Catterall is a non-title contest.

“We got a date done nice and swiftly, rescheduled nice and quickly, for the 25th of May,” he continued. “It’s only four weeks – it’s only four weeks. It’s not as if it’s two months or four months. It’s only four weeks. It’s an inconvenience, but we gotta listen to the medical professionals, especially when it’s something as precious as your eyesight. It is what it is. It’s not an actual injury, it’s just the pressure behind my eyes was way too high, so the doctors recommend put a halt for a couple of weeks and come back to normal.

“It was a little procedure I had on my eye – a squint procedure. Everything went well – it’s good – it’s just the healing process; the pressure to come back down to normal pressure, really. I’d been meaning to get this procedure done for a little while and I managed to get in in the beginning of February. I got it done nice and quickly, and it went well. It’s just a case of the pressure behind my eyes coming down now.

“It [initially] came down nice and quick. My first consultation afterwards, they said, ‘The pressure’s coming down nicely’, and the second one I went to they said, ‘It’s coming down even more’, and then I went to the final one, and it became, ‘Your eye pressure’s come back up a little bit; you’ve had a slight regression in your recovery, so we’re therefore recommending you put your fight back a little bit’.

“It’s fixing the muscles in the eyes. Moving the muscles a little bit.

“Sorry for the inconvenience to anybody who’s booked hotels and travel and all that. Apologies on my behalf.”