Jack Catterall slaps Josh Taylor after grabbing his throat in press conference clash

The boxers went head to head at a fiery media conference to announce their rematch.

Jack Catterall slapped Josh Taylor after grabbing his throat in a press conference clash ahead of their hotly-anticipated rematch in April.

Taylor admitted he’s keen to silence his critics and intends to “put Jack Catterall to bed”.

Taylor won a controversial split decision when the two were last in the ring together two years ago, with many feeling the Scot was lucky to remain undisputed super-lightweight champion.

Pundits and fight fans were public in support for Catterall, though Taylor believed the judges got it right and that the Englishman had failed to do enough to take his belts.

After lots of talk from both camps in the time since, during which Taylor vacated three belts and lost the WBO title to Teofimo Lopez, it’s now been confirmed that the pair will meet in the ring at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on April 27.

The announcement was made at a heated press conference in Edinburgh, where the two had plenty to say about each other and lashed out at each other after posing head to head for pictures.

“There’s a lot of people to shut up and put up the middle finger to,” Taylor told a crowd of journalists and fans. “There is a lot of bragging rights and pride and to put the doubters to bed.”

Speaking to STV, the Scot said that it had been difficult hearing talk about how he shouldn’t have won the first bout.

“It is frustrating but it is what it is,” he said. “I’ve said things and made my feelings know about the previous fight.

“It was a close fight. I said right after the fight that it could have gone either way. I still believe that and haven’t changed my opinion.

“What’s the point in going on about the past? We’re here now and I can’t wait until April 27.

“I want to put Jack to bed, put him back under his rock, and move on with my career. I’ll look to get my world title back either at 140 or 147.

“This is one that needs to be done because it would keep following me and all the little comments would follow me.”

The fight has been billed under the tagline “The hate is real” and thought Taylor played that down, he was clear that he had an issue to settle.

“We’ve both said things over a couple of years,” he said. “I don’t really hate anybody but I’ve got a real dislike for him.

“He can try and wind me up but I don’t think he has the brains to. He’s pretty dense.

“I’m just nice and relaxed and chilled out.

“They’re going to come away with all this stuff about how I’ve been ducking and diving and all this carry on but they can say what they want.”

Catterall was of similar mind, saying he didn’t believe Taylor wanted the fight but that he was glad to have an opportunity that he should have won two years ago and is the better fighter.

“I’ve had a couple of fights since the first Taylor fight and it’s still talked about up and down the country,” he said.

“I think it needs to be put to bed. I’m excited and it feels real to me now, being here and seeing the poster.

“I’m excited to get it on.

“It was a frustrating time. As far as Taylor is concerned, he’s talked a lot of s**t over the years so I’m excited to put him to bed.

“There’s no world titles on the line but it’s still a big night for both of us.”

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