Regis Prograis picks Josh Taylor to defeat Jack Catterall

By Charles Brun: Former WBA light welterweight champion Regis Prograis is picking undisputed 140-lb champion Josh Taylor to defeat his WBO mandatory challenger Jack Catterall this Saturday night at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland.

Like many, Prograis says he doesn’t know much about the #1 ranked WBO contender Catterall (26-0, 13 KOs), but he’s been told that he won’t be a pushover for Taylor on Saturday night.

If Catterall had fought not able opposition, fans would know who he is and be amped up about this fight.

Sadly, Catterall is getting this title shot against Taylor based on his wins over domestic level fighters Ohara Davies and Tyrone McKenna. In an ideal world, Catterall should have had to beat one or two of these talents to earn a title shot against Taylor:

  • Subriel Matias
  • Jose Ramirez
  • Regis Prograis
  • Jose Zepeda
  • Shakhram Giyasov
  • Arnold Barboza
  • Teofimo Lopez

The question is, would Catterall beat ANY of those fighters from my list? I’d say that’s a big NO, which is why it’s disappointing that Catterall is the WBO mandatory, and a pure waste of Josh Taylor’s career to be defending his strap against him.

Taylor should have vacated his WBO strap and either moved up to 147 like he’s talked about wanting to do or focus on facing talented fighters like Zepeda, Prograis, Ramirez, Matias, Giyasov, Teofimo, and Barboza.

Prograis picks Taylor to beat Catterall

“I got Josh. I think he’s a step ahead right now. He’s on right now,” said Regis Prograis to iFL TV on Josh Taylor about his fight with Catterall. “Of course, his resume speaks for itself.

“I don’t know too much about Jack Catterall. I talk to people who say, ‘This dude is not a pushover. This is not going to be an easy fight for Josh. This is going to be a tough fight for him. It’s not going to be a walk in the park.’

“I still think Josh should be able to win because he’s on right now, and he has his sights set on the 147-lb division with big fights against Crawford or whoever he wants to fight.

“I would go with points for Josh Taylor. If it happens, it happens,” said Prograis when asked if he’d mind fighting for a vacant title of Taylor vacates and moves up to 147. “If it’s vacant, I’ll still fight for a vacant

Taylor confident of beating Catterall

“I am very confident in winning this fight. I know I am going to winhands down,” said Josh Taylor to Sky Sports News.

“I saw a little bit of self-doubt from him. You can’t take too much from it but it’s letting him know I believe I am the better fighter.

“There will be nothing other than a Josh Taylor win. I know I can outbox him, outfight him. I feel I have got the better of him in every department of the game.”

It’s a no-brainer that Taylor will beat Catterall, and I don’t know why it would even be a discussion point for him. If Taylor were fighting someone good like Prograis, Matias, Zepeda, Ramirez or Giyasov, it would be more of a point of discussion whether he’d win or not.

But when you’re going about a fighter like Catterall, with his resume filled with fluff opposition, it’s academic that Taylor is going to win.

It’s a shame that Taylor has set such a low bar for himself by underachieving with the type of weak opposition he’s facing.

Adam Smith: Josh Taylor can become a “superstar”

“I believe Josh can become a superstar in the sport, and I believe he’s a real character,” said Adam Smith of Sky Sports to Secondsout. “It’s fantastic for him to go back to Scotland. He’s got such a passionate following,” said Smith.

What’s working against Josh Taylor in realizing Adam Smith’s vision of becoming a “superstar” are several things.

  • Not fighting often enough. Taylor has only been fighting once a year since 2020, and he’s not getting seen nearly enough for him to become a superstar. For Taylor to become a star like past UK fighters, he needs to be fighting at least three to four times a year to create visibility. He’s NOT going to become a star fighting on an annual basis against the likes of Catterall and Apinun Khongsong.
  • Facing less opposition. Given Taylor’s age [31], he should be fighting the best possible opponents each time out rather than wasting his career against little-known fighters like Catterall and Khongsong. Those guys would be fine if Taylor was in his early 20s and just starting his career, but not at 31. It’s foolish of Taylor to waste his time by facing obscure opposition that won’t help create in his career.
  • Vacate titles and focus on quality. If Taylor’s excuse for continually fighting lesser fighters like Khongsong and Catterall is that they’re his mandatory challengers, then he needs to dump those titles, and hold onto one strap so that he can focus on fighting the best fighters instead of contenders that have no business fighting for titles. You can argue that Catterall and Khongsong should have never been mandatory challengers because they lack talent, charisma, and name recognition. Taylor should be fighting guys like Prograis, Jose Zepeda, Subriel Matias, and Shakhram Giyasov

“I think we’re going to get really good figures because everyone wants to see him,” Smith said of Taylor. “Let’s not forget Jack Catterall here, who is undefeated and has his big opportunity.

“He’s going to give everything to try and take the light welterweight treasure away from Josh. So Jack is not without a chance, and Josh will have to be at his very best.

“I think there are special fighters out there for him [Josh]. One of those is Terence Crawford. He told me that he’d love to fight in the UK. So, there are great things ahead for Josh. He’s in a really good weight class, and he can go up and try and become a champion at welterweight.

“I think this is an opportunity to see what he’s got, and I really hope that if he gets past Jack Catterall, he’ll keep busy, and we’ll use our platform [Sky] to make Josh the crossover star that he deserves to be. He’s got the talent, he’s got the ability, and if he keeps with his focus and his sustained belief, he could go a really long way.

“I think we’re getting him a little too late, but we’re getting him at a time where we still got time to make that difference for him, and hopefully give him a good three or four years,” said Smith about the 31-year-old Josh Taylor.

If Taylor wants to be bold, he can move up to 147 and go after Terence Crawford, but I don’t think he’s going to do it. Taylor has been talking about wanting to move up to 147 to challenge Crawford since 2019, and he’s STILL not done it. What does that tell you?

Taylor is good at talking about things he’d like to do ‘one of these days,’ but he doesn’t act. He talks and seems lost in reverie without acting.

Next year, we’ll likely see Taylor in the same situation, fighting obscure in the class of Khongsong and Catterall while talking about wanting to move up to 147 one of these days.

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