Eddie Hearn: Taylor v Catterall is 'old school' Scotland v England fight

The promoter expects a fiery clash with 'much more emotion this time'.

Promoter Eddie Hearn believes he’s set up a classic fight between Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall, with the history between the pair guaranteeing an aggressive, emotional clash.

Taylor and Catterall will be back in the ring in Leeds in April, with scores to settle from their encounter two years ago.

A split decision gave Taylor, undisputed world super-lightweight champion at the time, a controversial win though many boxing pundits and fans shared Catterall’s passionate view that the Scot should have lost his belts.

Taylor remains adamant that he did enough to win the fight, and resented a lot of the talk that came in the aftermath about Catterall being “robbed”. Having vacated three belts and lost the WBO title to Teofimo Lopez, he is aiming to set the record straight and get back on track.

The pair showed their mutual antagonism at the press conference to announce the fight on Monday, having to be separated from each other by security after clashing at the head-to-head photo call.

With both boxers having a point to prove, promoter Hearn thinks he has an “old school” battle on his hands.

“It’s exactly what we need right now for British boxing,” Hearn said. “These are the fights that used to get made very often.

“It’s got a lot of old school feel to it, probably back to the days of something like a Carl Frampton v Scott Quigg.

“There’s so much hatred between the teams. We just couldn’t get the fight made.

“That’s why it’s taken nearly two years to the day to see the rematch. A fight that we should have seen instantly, amidst the controversy.

“There’s a lot of big fights happening internationally at the moment but it’s very important to make sure the megafights happen in Britain. So we’ve got that on April 27, in Leeds, on neutral territory, if you like. And I’m looking forward to it.”

Though there are no titles on the line, the fight represents a crossroads for each fighter, and that means just as much.

“Jack will feel hard done by from last time,” he said. “Josh feels like he did enough.

“No one will want to leave anything to chance this time.

“Both fighters will be more aggressive. There’s so much more emotion this time, and it was fiery the first time, to be honest with you.

“This time is different. Josh is coming off a defeat and almost battling for his career. If Jack Catterall gets beat, he’s well off the pile of fighting for a world championship.

“The stakes are almost just as high, really. Regardless of the world championship.”

While the first fight took place at the Hydro in Glasgow, the rematch is set for the First Direct Arena. The promoter expects a big crowd and is certain that the event will deliver on its promise.

“We want as many Scots travelling for this as possible,” he said. “This is not just Taylor v Catterall, this is Scotland v England.

“The Leeds Arena is a fantastic arena which is banked with around 12,000 seats. The atmosphere is going to be incredible.

“If you are thinking about coming down, make sure you do, it’s going to be a great weekend.”

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