Andre Ward would like to see undisputed light welterweight champion Josh Taylor (18-0, 13 KOs) go up to 147 and challenge WBO champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford next after he takes care of his challenger Jack Catterall (26-0, 13 KOs) ) this Saturday night at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland.
Ward feels Taylor, 31, has already accomplished that feat of becoming the undisputed champion at 140. What else does Taylor have to accomplish in the light welterweight division?
As far as Ward is concerned, Taylor should move up to 147 after one more fight if he has someone that he’d like to face before going up.
The problem that Taylor has is he doesn’t want to give up his titles. He obviously has doubts in his mind whether he can accomplish the same fear at 147 as he did at 140
Catterall given an opportunity
“Listen, Jack Catterall is a good fighter. We don’t know how good he is. He’s never fought at this level before but he’s going to show us how good he is on Saturday,” said Andre Ward to Max On Boxing on Catterall.
“I’ll say this. I have more questions about Josh Taylor than I do Jack Catterall. Catterall has been given an opportunity, and we’ll see how well he responds to that opportunity,” Ward said.
“This is the biggest stage that he’s ever been on. He’s dealing with nerves, you can see it at the face-off [at the weigh-in. You can see it that he’s trying to grab Josh Taylor’s neck.
“You’re seeing him do things that you’ve never seen him do before. My question is for the undisputed champion Josh Taylor.
Anytime an undisputed champion is facing a guy that’s not supposed to beat them on paper, the question always lingers. Did they take this guy seriously? Did they train like they were facing another top guy in the division?” said Ward.
The only way Catterall wins the fight is if Taylor is overlooking him at not properly motivated for this match.
Taylor must win impressively
“Not if they win, it’s how they win, and Josh Taylor needs to win impressively to keep his train on the tracks to obviously keep his belt but to stay in contention for the conversations with guys like Terence Crawford,” said Ward.
“How you do some things is how you do all things. So if you’re a guy that is hot & cold in life, you’re going to be hot & cold in that boxing gym at times in the ring in your career.
“Josh Taylor doesn’t strike me as that kind of guy. I look at his ability, his skills, his toughness, and I notice his competitiveness in him. He’s got a drive in him, and it takes one to know one. I’m very, very similar.
“That you can’t turn off. It doesn’t matter who is on the other side of the ring. If it’s a top guy, that drive is still there.
“If it’s a guy that’s not supposed to beat you, you still want to dominate him and make him look like he’s not supposed to be in the ring. There’s still motivation either way,” said Ward.
Taylor didn’t look good against Regis Prograis, and he struggles against Jose Ramirez. The way Taylor performances in both fights, he could have lost.
Ward: Josh Taylor shouldn’t wait
“Taylor has already accomplished the greatest feat in the division. He’s got all the straps, all the belts. So what else is there to prove other than facing another top guy with a name that could be a super fight in the States or domestically in the UK?
“He shouldn’t wait for anybody. If there’s a fight that is readily available and ready to be made after this Jack Catterall fight, then stay at 140 maybe one more time But outside of that, I think Josh Taylor is busting out of this division.
“It’s a very delicate game when you’re making the weight, but you’re noticing that you’re making it and it’s harder to make it, you’re stripping yourself and feeling it in the fight.
“You don’t want to get into a fight with another top dog and realize you stayed around too long. So I think he has this fight against Jack Catterall and one more at 140. It’s time to go to 147 and face some of these big dogs.
“I know that Terence Crawford has a lawsuit against Top Rank and all those different things, but I hope the politics don’t get involved because I’ve never heard anybody chase Terence Crawford and call out Terence Crawford, and that’s essentially what Josh Taylor has done,” said Ward.