A hugely controversial decision, numerous postponements, genuine bad blood, death threats, and a whole lot of anger. This is the story, so far, of the Josh Taylor-Jack Catterall rivalry. It was back in February of 2022, when unified super-lightweight champ Taylor faced hefty underdog Jack Catterall. But 12 rounds later, fellow southpaw Catterall appeared to have shocked both the odds and Taylor. Instead, Scottish hero Taylor got the decision in Glasgow, and the controversy began, as did the genuine bad blood.

If ever a fight called for a rematch, indeed screamed out for a rematch, it was this one. Taylor spoke of how he had received death threats and threats to his family. Catterall just wanted the return fight. Taylor suffered injuries, the fight postponed way more than once, but now, finally, the return fight is here – this Saturday night in Leeds.

Chorley’s Catterall hasn’t lost a fight since his agonising decision loss to Taylor, while the former champ from Prestonpans went on to lose three of his belts outside the ring, before Teofimo Lopez defeated Taylor to take his one remaining belt. Saturday’s fight is no world title fight, but not too many people seem to care. This fight is bigger than the belts, at least it is to both men, two men who so badly want to settle things once and for all.

Taylor, who freely admits to having a bad night 27 months ago, has vowed to “smash” Catterall this time, while Catterall has said he aims to “knock Taylor out cold” this time around. Again, the bad blood is as real as it gets here, and we fans could be in for a great fight. And the good news is, this fight will not be a pay-per-view offering, the fight going out on regular DAZN. Hey, I’d have paid to see this one!

So who wins this time? Was it really just a bad night for Taylor, or has Catterall got his number? Who is the fresher, better fighter today – 33 year old Taylor, who is 19-1(13), or 30 year old Catterall, who is currently 28-1(13)? Who lives the cleaner life outside of the ring could be another question worth asking; Catterall suggesting numerous times at pressers how Taylor looked like a man who “has been out on the lash,” or words to that effect. Taylor better be in top-top shape and condition for Saturday, that’s for sure.

Another close, hard fight is entirely possible, and for all the talk of a “smashing” or of one guy being “knocked out cold,” another nip-and-tuck distance fight looks a good bet here. In the end, the debate over who the superior fighter is may not actually get settled, with another split decision being handed in after 12 engrossing, at times spiteful rounds.

We will soon see. We have waited almost two-and-a-half years for the rematch, but finally it’s here. Some of us felt we would never see this rematch (much as we felt we would never actually see Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury fight their fight), but good things are worth waiting for. Taylor Vs. Catterall II cannot help but be a good fight, maybe a great one.

It’s time, as Taylor has said, to put this rivalry to bed. But who will wake up the winner on Sunday morning?

Pick: It will be another very close fight, with Catterall edging it on the cards this time, with all fans then calling for a third fight.

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