Josh Taylor keen to ‘shut up’ critics with win over Jack Catterall

Josh Taylor wants to silence his doubters when he takes on bitter rival Jack Catterall for a second time.

Catterall was distraught when he controversially lost a split decision against Taylor for the undisputed super-lightweight championship two years ago and there were many inside and outside the sport who thought he had every right to feel aggrieved.

The Scot vacated three of his titles before losing his WBO championship to Teofimo Lopez last June in his only bout since fighting Catterall, whom he will meet again in a non-title bout on April 27 at the First Direct Arena in Leeds.

Both boxers had to be separated when they went head-to-head at a sometimes rancorous Edinburgh city hotel media conference, packed with Taylor fans, and afterwards the man from Prestonpans spoke about silencing any critics.

“A lot of people to shut up and put up the middle finger to,” said Taylor.

“There is a lot of bragging rights and pride and to put the doubters to bed. I learned not to underestimate your opponent (against Catterall). I lived by that my whole career.

“But when you have the level of success I have had in such a short period of time then they say you are fighting Jack Catterall who hadn’t really proven himself.

“I thought he had lost against Ohara Davies and it was ‘just be fit and I will beat this guy’ and that was the biggest mistake I made. I never learned the lesson but I won’t be making the same mistake twice.”

Taylor spoke about the online trolls who have made life difficult for him and his family since the Catterall fight.

He said: “It has been OK. At the start was pretty heavy but it was all online.

“In person I haven’t had anything really. I have had people come up to me and say I thought he won the fight which is great, that is their opinion and I have absolutely no problem with that at all.

“But when the abuse starts and the family start getting it and you see how it affects them, that’s when it turns to a different dynamic and tone and it turned violent, putting my wife and sister’s places of work online and threats of violence, coming to their work.

“It is unacceptable. Any man would defend their family. I should have kept my mouth shut but then you can only kick a dog so many times before it bites back and that’s what I did bit back a couple of times but I should have kept quiet.”