IT’S a case of ‘once bitten, twice shy’ for Josh Taylor as he gears up for another fight with Jack Catterall.

The First Direct Arena in Leeds will stage their long-overdue rematch on Saturday night (May 25), with pride, ego, reputation, and, some say, careers on the line.

Taylor, 19-1 (13 KOs), finds himself facing the Chorley southpaw once again due to the scorecards on February 26, 2022, inside Glasgow’s SSE Hydro when Taylor defended his undisputed super-lightweight championship. The decision went in the Scot’s favour but there was an outcry from the away corner and from most within the sport that the result should have gone the Englishman’s way.

Since then, it has been revealed that Taylor’s preparations were not up to his usual standard and that he chose not to take the threat of Catterall seriously.

“I’m taking him seriously this time,” Taylor told Boxing News.

“I never took Jack seriously the first time. No one, including all the media, never gave Jack a chance in that first fight, including myself, and that’s a mistake that I made. I was getting bombarded with questions after the fight, you’re moving up to welter and chance for a second world title and all that.

“And I was like, ‘Yeah that’s what I’m going to do. Take care of this guy and move on.’ And that’s the mistake that I made. I’m not doing that this time, I’m taking him seriously. I know the threat that I’ve got in front of me. He gave me a hard night, I made it hard myself. I’m fully focused on Saturday.”

The build-up to Saturday night’s rematch has been eventful, filled with animosity, and threatened to spiral out of control on two occasions at press conferences. Catterall told BN that emotion doesn’t come into it and will not affect how he fights the second time around. Taylor shares a similar mindset but has used the fallout from the first fight—which included death threats sent to members of his family—as motivation during camp.

“I’ve used that to do the extra bits in training and drive me on during training and in sparring and on the pads,” he said.

“Days when I’ve been in the gym and I’ve been feeling tired or not quite feeling there –  I’ve been using that as motivation, as fuel to add to my fire.”