The Josh and Jack Show
By James Blaars
Rivalries don’t get much more traditional or more acute than a battle between Scotland and England, and so Josh “Tartan Tornado” Taylor (18-0, 13KOs) vs. Jack “El Gato” Catterall (26-0, 13 KOs) is a heart-wrenching Anglo-Scottish classic, especially as it is the undisputed welterweight title.
It was scheduled to land on December 18, but defending champion Taylor injured his knee in practice, so it was rescheduled and rescheduled for February 26 for the bonnie boxers.
It serves as the long-awaited return of Prestonpans puncher Josh, slated for the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, north of Hadrian’s Wall. You can almost hear fight fans chanting already: “I belong in Glasgow, Dear Old Glasgow Town.”
The No. 1 ranked fighter from Chorley Catterall with the WBO gets the chance of a lifetime, battling for all the marbles at 140 pounds in his first-ever world title fight. Undefeated in 26 fights, half of them by knockout, the 28-year-old former British champion is confident, poised and ready to rumble.
Josh, 31, is also undefeated and quickly established his superstar credentials in just 18 fights. Jack temporarily stepped down for Josh to fight Jose Carlos Ramirez, who held the WBC and WBO titles. It was a smart decision to be able to fight for all the belts at once.
Taylor won the unification clash in style, knocking Ramirez down in the sixth with a blistering left hook counter, and again in the seventh with a left uppercut from close range. Ramirez fought back with grit, grit and determination, but those two knockdowns proved decisive with Josh winning 114-112 on all three judges’ scorecards, to go down in history as Scotland’s only undisputed world champion. , since Ken Buchanan, his friend and idol.
But, we have to look back at a few previous fights, to really access and assess Josh’s mettle. It was against the tough, resolute, skilful and hard-hitting Regis Prograis, with the IBF, WBA, WBC Diamond and Muhammad Ali trophies on the line, in the World Boxing Super Series final that Taylor became a superstar du jour at the the following day.
At the final presser, Josh laconically urged Regis to remove his sunglasses and Regis refused. Determined to put Regis in the shadows, Josh started brightly and effectively, but Regis came back menacingly with crisp, hard-hitting body shots. It was an exchange, a see-saw war, with both scored and cut after 12 thrilling rounds, also sporting nosebleeds each. Regis came strong, especially in the 12th round, but Taylor’s punches throughout the fight had been crisper and more accurate. He won by unanimous decision, but it was very close and a Fight of the Year contender.
For a super lightweight, Josh is tall and lanky at 5-foot-10 with a reach of almost 70 inches. While Jack is 5ft 7in tall with a reach of 67in. The challenger will need to close the distance and use his searing hand speed and searing body attacks when up close, but the inside game is Taylor’s greatest strength.
Josh accomplished much of his knockout wins with his own devastating body attacks from close range. He himself has lightning fast hands and an unwavering iron will to win. His ring IQ is as high as it could be.
During one of their many press conferences leading up to this point, Josh bitterly told Jack that he had worked too hard to lose his titles. Shamelessly, Jack says that is precisely what will happen, to which Josh asks him exactly how? It’s a good question; How can Jack fight those titles from Josh?
Josh’s trainer is Ben Davison, who brought Tyson Fury back from the brink to a world championship clash with Deontay Wilder. Jack’s trainers are the formidable double act of Jamie Moore and “Flat Cap” Nigel Travis. Both corners are full of knowledge and excellence.
For each fight, proud Scotsman Josh wears a variation of tartan shorts from different clans, and his team unfurls a Scottish flag. By George, it will be interesting to see if Jack wears Union Jack shorts. We will certainly be entitled (is that the right word?) to the moaning song of the traditional bagpipes before the start of hostilities.
Both thrive as pressure fighters and so we’re going to see one hell of a breakout. A real fight in The Gorbals! Josh fought higher caliber opponents, but Jack, who was WBO Intercontinental Champion, more than earned his mandatory challenge. He too is a quality fighter, with real power in both fists and the courage of a lion.
These 140-pounders prefer close combat, so meeting them will be a war of attrition. Initially, neither will be willing to give ground. But, as the fight progresses and wear and tear accumulates, one of them will gain ground and crush the other. The vast majority of world title fights are thrillers, but this one will surpass even that! While it lasts, it will be a barn burner on the farm.
A win for Josh would once again confirm him as The Pride of Scotland. A win for Jack would be a huge upset and shock to the boxing world and naturally turn him into an overnight superstar…or in the words of Frank Randall: “The Emperor of Lancashire”.
This will be the 2,130th fight for the WBC championship title in its 59-year history.
Tale of the Band
Undisputed welterweight champion
Date of birth: January 2, 1991
Place of birth: Edinburgh, Scotland
Residence: Prestonpans, Scotland
Nickname: Tornado Tartan
Record: 18-0, 13 KOs
World title fights: 4-0, 1KO
Coach: Ben Davison
Manager: MTK Global
Developer: Top Rank
Date of birth: July 1, 1993
Place of birth: Chorley, Lancashire
Residence: Chorley, Lancashire
Age: 28 years old
Pseudonym: El Gato
Record: 26-0, 13 KOs
Coach: Jamie Moore
Coach: Frank Warren
Promoter: Queensberry Promotions
WBC welterweight champions
1. ROBERTO CRUZ (PHIL) 1963
2. EDDIE PERKINS (USA) 1963 – 1965
3. CARLOS HERNANDEZ (FRI) 1965 – 1966
4. SANDRO LOPOPOLO (ITA) 1966 – 1967
5. PAUL FUJI (USA) 1967 – 1968
6. PEDRO ADIGUE (PHIL) 1968 – 1970
7. BRUNO ARCARI (ITALY) 1970 – 1974
8. PEDRO FERNÁNDEZ (SPAIN) 1974 – 1975
9. SAENSAK MUANGSURIN (THAIL) 1975 – 1976
10. MIGUEL VELAZQUEZ (SPAIN) 1976
11. SAENSAK MUANGSURIN (THAI) 1976 – 1978
12. SANG-HYUN KIM (KOREA) 1978 – 1980
13. SAOUL MAMBY (USA) 1980 – 1982
14. LEROY HALEY (USA) 1982 – 1983
15. BRUCE CURRY (USA) 1983 – 1984
16. BILL COSTELLO (USA) 1984 – 1985
17. LONNIE SMITH (USA) 1985 – 1986
18. RENE ARREDONDO (MEXICO) 1986
19. TSUYOSHI HAMADA (JAPAN) 1986 – 1987
20. RENE ARREDONDO (MEXICO) 1987
21. ROGER MAYWEATHER (USA) 1987 – 1989
22. JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ (MEX) 1989 – 1994
23. FRANKIE RANDALL (USA) 1994
24. JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ (MEX) 1994 – 1996
25. OSCAR DE LA HOYA (US-MEX) 1996 – 1997
26. KONSTANTIN TSZYU (AUSTRALIA) 1998 – 2003
27. ARTURO GATTI (CANADA) 2004 – 2005
28. FLOYD MAYWEATHER (USA) 2005
29. JUNIOR WITTER (GB) 2006 – 2008
30. TIMOTHY BRADLEY (USA) 2008 – 2009
31. DEVON ALEXANDER (USA) 2009 – 2011
32. TIMOTHY BRADLEY (USA) 2011
33. ERIK MORALES (MEXICO) 2011 – 2012
34. LUCAS MATTHYYSSE (ARGENTINA) Interim 2012 – 2013
35. DANNY GARCIA (USA) 2012 – 2015
36. VIKTOR POSTOL (UKRAINE) 2015 – 2016
37. TERENCE CRAWFORD (USA) 2016 – 2018
38. REGIS PROGAIS (USA) Interim 2018 – 2019
39. JOSE CARLOS RAMIREZ (USA) 2018 – 2021
40. JOSH TAYLOR (GB) 2021 –
The 10 best WBC welterweight champions
1. JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ (MEX)
2. OSCAR DE LA HOYA (US/MEX)
3. KOSTYA TSZYU (RUS/AUST)
4. ROGER MAYWEATHER (USA)
5. TIMOTHY BRADLEY (USA)
6. BRUNO ARCARI (ITALY)
7. ARTURO GATTI (CANADA)
8. DANNY GARCIA (USA)
9. DEVON ALEXANDER (USA)
10. SAENSAK MUANGSURIN (THAI)
Welterweight Division Facts
There have been 35 world champions recognized by the WBC and only four have regained their title: Saensak Muangsurin; Rene Arredondo; Julio Cesar Chávez; Tim Bradley.
There have been 134 world welterweight championship bouts in WBC history
WBC welterweight championship fights by country
United States: 78
PUERTO RICO: 1
WBC Championship Fights in Scotland
Seven WBC world championship fights have taken place in Scotland
This is the first ever WBC welterweight world championship fight to have taken place in Scotland
Jim Watt vs. Alfredo Pitalua (TKO 12)
Jim Watt vs. Roberto Vazquez (TKO 9)
Jim Watt vs. Charlie Nash (TKO 4)
Jim Watt vs. Howard Davis (December 15)
Jim Watt vs. Sean O’Grady (TKO 12)
Nigel Benn vs. Mauro Galvano (December 12)
Nonito Donaire vs. Ryan Burnett (TKO 4)