Jack Catterall believes that victory on Saturday over Josh Taylor will secure what he considers to be an overdue world-title fight.

They fight at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, little over two years after Taylor was awarded the most controversial of split decisions to retain the undisputed super-lightweight title.

A succession of injuries suffered by the 33-year-old Scot, combined with him vacating all but the WBO title he then lost to Teofimo Lopez in New York in June 2023, means that their long-awaited rematch will not involve a title, and that Catterall’s ambition of becoming a world champion – one he believes wrongly denied to him by the judges at the conclusion of their first fight – will remain unfulfilled.

He regardless is promoted by Matchroom, who also work with the IBF champion Subriel Matias and expect to continue working with Devin Haney, and for all that their rivalry has become increasingly personal, he said: “I want to prove myself and fight the best – if this is the fight and victory that I need to put myself one step closer to the world titles, then game on. 

“I want to be involved in big fights and this is a big fight. It would have been the cherry on top if we could have got it for a world title – I have ambitions to go on and win a world title – but this fight is worthy of a world title, and it gets me up for it.

“I think we’ve had two years since the fight where I’ve matured in and out of the ring. I’ve been doing a lot of developing and I think it’s my time now to prove that I do belong in these big fights. Once I beat Josh I’ll go on and win a world title.

“Do I think Josh Taylor ever avoided me? Of course. Josh doesn’t want to fight me. Since the first fight we’ve had the fight rescheduled maybe four times now. He’s looking for any way out. He’s in a position where he has to fight me. I think he’s been forced into this position. When you look at the landscape, the fights that are there and the fights that aren’t there, this fight makes a lot of sense. Do I think he wants it? No. Does he have to take it? Yes.

“He didn’t want this. He had great plans to go to 147 and challenge for world titles up there. He cemented 140 but unfortunately for him, his biggest fight is me. I know that he’s my biggest fight, I can accept that, but for him I think it’s frustrating that he can’t go up and fight [Terence] Crawford etc, so he’s got to fight me.”

Catterall was present in San Francisco on the night in December that Haney dethroned Regis Prograis – another super lightweight at Matchroom – as the WBC champion, but even from the Prograis-Haney weigh-in he spoke of his determination to fight Taylor.

“He’s not my type of person,” the 30 year old said. “I don’t think we would go out for a coffee or a beer. I just don’t like him. I can’t wait to stop talking about him. I want to beat him in every way possible. 

“I want to make it slow and painful, but I also want to knock him out cold. He should enjoy this – it’s probably going to be his last fight. There’s no room to hide, Josh. Rival; enemy; Josh Taylor is that to me. The judges can’t save him. I can’t f***ing wait.”

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