By Barry Holbrook: Josh Taylor believes Terence Crawford will have too much for IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. if the two fight now.
Although Taylor rates the unbeaten Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) highly, he sees WBO champion Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs) as too good for him.
Interestingly, Taylor (18-0, 13 KOs) thinks he’d beat Crawford, which means he believes he’d defeat Spence as well.
It’s a little hard for boxing fans to buy into the idea of Taylor beating Crawford or Spence, considering his best career win was a narrow 12 round majority decision win over Regis Prograis in October 2019.
Taylor barely beating Prograis and narrowing defeating Jose Ramirez indicates he’s NOT good enough to beat Crawford, Spence, YordenisUgas, and likely not Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis either.
This Saturday night, Taylor will be defending his undisputed light welterweight titles against Jack Catterall (26-0, 13 KOs) at The SSE Hydro, in Glasgow, Scotland.
Taylor: Crawford beats Spence
“Spence is very good as well but Crawford’s on fire. I think he wins that one as he’s the best pound-for-pound fighter,” said Josh Taylor to The Guardian in picking Terence over Errol when or if they fight.
“I think so. Crawford was the undisputed champion at 140, and he’s now unified champion at welterweight in a hot division. But if a fight with me happens I believe I’m 100% capable of winning.
“That’s the fight that would give me the fear factor and push me to new heights. Otherwise, if you don’t have that kind of challenge, you go stale,” Taylor said.
We don’t know if Crawford can beat Spence because he’s not fought an A-level fighter since moving up in weight to 147 in 2018.
The one tough opponent Crawford has had at welterweight was the washed gatekeeper Shawn Porter, who was at the end of his career when Terence beat him last November.
Josh unsure if he’ll move up to 147 yet
“I don’t know. We’ll see what challenges arise after the fight,” said Taylor to Fighthype when asked if this [Catterall] is his last contest at 140. “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, and see what challenges present themselves.
“I think it’s a very doable fight. We’re sort of in the same house [Top Rank],” said Taylor when asked about whether he’s still interested in fighting Terence Crawford.
“It looks like it can be made, and I think it can be made,” Taylor said of a match against Crawford. “I think it’s mouth-watering, but I’m not thinking about anybody else besides Jack Catterall at the minute.
“It’s the only thing on my mind. If I don’t get past Jack Catterall none of these fights happen. I’m not here to talk about any other fight besides Jack Catterall.
“Of course, that is a fight that I want. Who wouldn’t want to fight Terence Crawford? I’m a fighting man and I’ll fight anybody. I’m in this game to fight the best, all-comers, and I believe Terence Crawford is one of the best in the sport. I believe I’m one of the best in the sport.
“I believe in the best fighting the best to decide who is the top dog, and that’s a fighter I would love to take on. No, because my business is at 140, and I’ve got [Catterall] to take care of,” said Taylor when asked if Crawford leaving Top Rank will make it harder for him to face him.
“I’m not thinking about f*** Terence Crawford. I’m thinking about Jack Catterall. That’s all I’m thinking about. If I don’t beat Jack Catterall, then he’s a man in my position. So it’s in one ear and out the other.
“I’ve been asked this question about 100 times, and I’m sick of answering it because you all think it’s a forgone conclusion that I’m going to turn up and win the fight.
“Jack Catterall is a hungry fighter. He’s 26-0, he’s a very skilled fighter, and he’s determined to win this fight. I have absolutely no interest in what Terence Crawford is doing at the minute. I’m focusing on myself,” Taylor said.
The fact that Taylor isn’t sure if he wants to move up to 147 yet suggests that were not going to see him and Crawford mixing it up anytime soon.
It’s understandable why Taylor would be reluctant in moving up to welterweight, as he would be giving up his four belts at 140 and starting into the unknown.
Right now, Taylor is viewed as the best fighter at 140 by many boxing fans, but if he moves up to 147, he won’t be seen even as the third best.
Taylor’s career may never be the same after he moves up in weight, which is likely the reason he’s stalling in moving up in weight.
Catterall = all-around good fighter
“I don’t give af*** about Jack Catterall,” Taylor continued. “He’s coming trying to take what I got. It’s my job to make sure he doesn’t get these belts. That’s what he’s going to try and do.
“I don’t care about Jack Catterall. All I care about is beating him up and keeping my belts. Jack has been waiting for this opportunity for a long time, and he’s going to be doing everything within his power to come in as the underdog and win again.
“That’s what he wants to do,” said Taylor about Catterall. “He wants to make history and become the first English person to do it. He wants to become a world champion, and it’s my job to make sure he doesn’t do it.
“It’s my job to do a successful job and then start planning these fights that you’re talking about. Right now, I’m not thinking about any of that. I’m just thinking about Jack Catterall and making a successful defense.
“I think he’s a very good all-arounder and does everything really well,” said Taylor when asked what’s the best thing about Jack Catterall. He does everything well, but not one thing exceptionally well.
“He’s a good all-around fighter with good timing, good boxing ability, and he looks like he punches pretty heavy-handed as well. So I think I’ve got a task ahead of me, but it’s one that I’m pretty confident of winning.
“Preparation has been going really well, and I’ve been performing well in the gym. I can’t wait until next week. All the training has been done. I’ve had a long camp and a long preparation. We know what’s going to work in this fight, and we know I’m going to get a good result,” Taylor said.
Catterall, 28, is a good fighter, but he’s unproven at the world level, and that’s the problem that he has coming into Saturday’s fight.
Virtually all of Catterall’s past 26 fights as a pro have come against domestic or European level opposition.
Really, Catterall hasn’t fought one top-tier fighter during his 10-year career, and it’s kind of late to be finally stepping it up.
Catterall’s best win is a narrow 12 round decision victory over Ohara Davies in 2018. This is the same guy that Josh Taylor effortlessly beat by a seventh round knockout in 2017.