JOSH TAYLOR and JACK CATTERALL kept themselves calm and composed at today’s final press conference ahead of their rematch on Saturday at the First Direct Arena in Leeds.

The rematch, two years in the making, is just a couple of days away. And while there was no verbal mud thrown or attempts to get physical there was a tension that froze the room during their face-off.

After facing the cameras for customary pictures the two super-lightweights turned to look at one another. At the weigh-in for the first fight in Glasgow and at the two press conferences several weeks ago in Edinburgh and Manchester it all threatened to get out of control with hands thrown and tempers fraying. And while nothing of the sort happened today each of them looked as though they were waiting, perhaps even hoping for something to happen. The pot was boiling and the ingredients were bubbling but thankfully nothing spilled over.

Earlier all parties said their piece and remained civil and shared little that would have caused anyone to bite.

“We both know what stands in front of us,” Catterall said. “We’ve had the build-up. We don’t see eye to eye.

“I watched the first fight, I didn’t rate it. I think I under-performed, I think Josh did as well. Expect a better fight Saturday, emotions aside expect a better fight Saturday.”

The Chorley 140-pounder knows exactly how big a moment this is in his career but is refusing to think about what may lie ahead in such a talent-packed division.

“You’ve got a great division at 140 [but] all I can think is about Saturday.”

Their controversial first fight went the distance but this time Catterall, 28-1 (13 KOs), is predicting a win inside 12-rounds. “I can take him out [on] Saturday.”

Taylor, meanwhile, is aiming to put a run of inactivity and disappointing results and performances behind him when he steps into the ring on Saturday night. The Scot has reached the pinnacle of the sport becoming undisputed champion at 140lbs but since that win against Jose Carlos Ramirez in May 2021 he has fought just twice – the split-decision win against Catterall in February 2022 and the June 2023 unanimous decision defeat to Teofimo Lopez.

“It’s just another fight week, another fight,” Taylor said at today’s presser.

“Looking forward to putting all this to bed and prove it [the first fight] was an off night.”

Some have written Taylor, 19-1 (13 KOs), off because of his time out the ring and the displays against Catterall and Lopez. Catterall’s trainer Jamie Moore dismissed that theory while Taylor himself used another combat sport to prove one loss is not the end of the road.

“Look at the history of boxing. All the great fighters of the past have come back and won world titles. Things like the UFC… guys have 20 fights and 10 losses, still at the top of the game. I still feel like I’m at top of the game and a win means I’m back in business to get my titles back.”

In response to Catterall’s stoppage prediction, Taylor replied: “Let him think that. If he wants to do that [then] great. I don’t care how I win, points or stoppage. The way I’ve performed in the gym if I catch him with the shots I’ve been throwing it’ll be devastating.”