Josh Taylor-Jack Catterall slap, explained: Why the heated press conference got physical between boxing rivals

If the buildup to the rematch between Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall is any indication, the fight on April 27 should be electric. If the two stay far from one another following their actions from the two-day press tour, that is.

Taylor and Catterall were in Edinburgh and Manchester to promote the fight, the first time they were near one another in about two years. Both have said words to one another on social since their controversial fight where Taylor beat Catterall via questionable scorecards as he defended his status as the undisputed super lightweight champion.

It wasn’t hard to figure out things would get out of control at the first press conference, where shoves and curse words were ringing through all of Edinburgh.

“I don’t hate anyone, but I don’t like this guy, and I can’t wait to smash his brains in, what little brains he’s got,” Taylor said.

WATCH: Josh Taylor vs. Jack Catterall 2, exclusively on ESPN+

“Without a shadow of a doubt, I am coming in there to do damage. They’ve titled it Hate Runs Deep, but hate is a strong word. I think for me, I don’t care that much about Josh, the respect is not there, right now he is the enemy, and that’s all that I can focus on,” Catterall said.

Why the Josh Taylor-Jack Catterall press conference got physical

The sequel may have been better than the original. Taylor came to Tuesday’s (Feb. 20) press conference with crayons, ready to hand them to Catterall. Catterall was not having any mind games and slapped him across the head before they could speak. Security tried their best to separate them. 

Once all that was out of the way, they continued to call one another every name in the book. When they faced off, it was Taylor who called Catterall “Simple Jack” and claimed he would never be a world champion. 

An immediate rematch between the two never came to fruition following an injury to Taylor, who got stripped of multiple belts before losing the WBO and Ring titles against Teofimo Lopez. Catterall has won two in a row since.

The fight will air on ESPN+ in the U.S. and DAZN in the U.K. and the rest of the world. With no titles up for grabs, the two look to have an old-fashioned brawl for all. Can First Direct Arena handle the chaos that will unfold? 

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