Now that the Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall rematch is official, Johnny Nelson, Dave Coldwell and Matt Macklin have offered their thoughts ahead of a much anticipated thirteenth round.
Josh Taylor went into the first fight as one of the pound-for-pound stars of the sport, an undisputed champion and a massive favourite with the bookies.
Despite that, a poor showing from the Scotsman and a career-defining one from Catterall left the majority believing that he lost the fight. As the boxing world knows, he got the nod from the judges anyway.
Taylor has since vacated his WBC and IBF world titles to make the second fight happen and, he hopes, silence his doubters.
Last week, Boxxer promoter Ben Shalom confirmed that the rematch has been signed for March, in Glasgow, Scotland and the Sky Sports pundits were quick to make their predictions.
Former cruiserweight champion, Johnny Nelson, believes Catterall’s chance has gone with the controversial decision.
“I don’t think lightning is going to strike twice, I think Taylor will do him. I think that opportunity has gone now, the art of surprise that Catterall had on Taylor was then, it’s gone now, which is a shame for Catterall.”
Trainer Dave Coldwell, though, can’t pick between the men.
“Taylor’s had the change of trainer as well, and going straight into a big fight as well rather than having one first, I would slightly lean towards Catterall. It’s a difficult fight to pick, and that’s what I love about this fight.
It’s not being disparaging to either of them, it’s just that they have both shown that they are that good, so it’s one of those fights where both men could win.”
Finally, Matt Macklin is leaning towards Taylor, too.
“It reminds me of Carl Froch and George Groves. Groves shocked Froch in the first fight, but then Carl did his homework, put the work in, and showed he was the better fighter.
It’s not so much about the time between the fights, but the first fight has given Taylor a chance. He was very lucky, he made a mistake and underestimated Catterall, thinking it was going to be really easy, so now he’s learnt a lesson and still kept his belts.”
The opinions of experts and fans alike will be far more split than they were for the initial fight as Taylor looks to get his career back on track under new trainer Joe McNally.
Meanwhile, Catterall will likely be doing everything he can to take the contest out of the judges’ hands.