NOW IT’S MY TURN
Jack Catterall has been an interested onlooker in recent weeks as the action in his own super lightweight division heated up, with Terry Flanagan’s shot at the world title and then Ohara Davies being back in the ring. Jack himself will now be in the spotlight when he defends his WBO Intercontinental title against Tyrone McKenna in Belfast on Saturday and, in his latest Fighter Diary, he offers his take on how events have unfolded…
FIGHTER DIARY BY JACK CATTERALL
IT HAS BEENa busy time with people fighting in my division and I was in Manchester a couple of weeks back to watch Terry Flanagan fight for the vacant WBO world title against Maurice Hooker.
I wasn’t overly surprised with the outcome, although I did fancy Terry to win during the build-up. By the same token, I had not seen too much of Hooker so it was not a big shock.
Watching the fight it appeared to me that Terry, while I am not saying he is one-dimensional, he didn’t adapt over the rounds and that is one reason why I always believed I have the tools to beat him. This has now been exploited by Hooker before I got there.
I always believe timing beats speed and, yes, Hooker has got great footwork and moves well, in and out, with his punches and one-twos. I felt, from sparring Terry, that I had the blueprint to beat him but Maurice got there first unfortunately.
Hooker was an awkward customer but, at the same time, I don’t think he did anything brilliantly and didn’t do anything special to stand out. I wasn’t sat at the fight going ‘wow, this is special’, he just stuck to his basics.
Timing beats speed and, as he was coming in, he was catching Terry and he fought the right fight while also staying at the right distance. He caught Terry coming in, didn’t get involved too much on the inside and just boxed the perfect fight to beat Terry.
Of course, Hooker winning does remove an easy to make fight between myself and Terry for a world title but, at the same time, you can always say the same about a lot of things and a lot of fights.
I believe everything happens for a reason so, although that would have been a perfect opportunity for me, it obviously wasn’t the right time.
I do know that if I keep winning and working hard, these opportunities will come around.
A fight between me and Terry was an obvious one and could still be, but Terry is on the rebuild now and it is a case of what his team want to do. He is not on my radar now because I am still on my journey.
There are good fighters calling me out now and, let’s be honest, Terry doesn’t have a title now and unless there was some really good money offered for the fight it probably won’t happen unless it is one I want and need.
Unless Terry is put straight back in a position for a world title, right now Terry has got nothing I need or want.
I was watching at home on Saturday night when another at my weight, Ohara Davies, won the WBC Silver title by beating Paul Kamanga. I did think Kamanga might have done more as he didn’t do much, but he was caught with a clean shot and that was that.
You can’t deny he landed a good shot and caught him clean but I don’t think in terms of how good or bad Ohara is, it told us too much.
This weekend it is my turn and I travel to Belfast to take on Tyrone McKenna in a fight that fell nicely for me after Tyrone’s original opponent withdrew with injury.
It is perfect for me after two fights that didn’t go past a round. It would have been quite frustrating if I had not got out until later in the year as it wouldn’t have been good preparation for any meaningful fights coming up.
I was hopeful that Frank would get me back out quickly so I stayed in the gym after a couple of days off and then the opportunity came up. It has landed at the perfect time for me.
I have heard quite a bit about Tyrone, have watched his fights and have talked to him and he seems like a nice lad, although I don’t know him personally.
At the end of the day I just look at him as somebody in my way – a 6ft 1″ southpaw fighter that I’ve got to beat and travel over to Belfast to do it.
I am not unfamiliar with tall opposition after fighting Tyrone Nurse and, funnily enough, I sparred Tyrone McKenna for the Tyrone Nurse fight.
I’ve also been training hard for this one and have had decent enough sparring and, although it was not mirror image sparring, I have prepared well for him.
Tyrone has had some bad luck with fights falling through for him and, as far as I’m concerned, do I really need to fight him? Probably not. But I want to be involved in big fights and I want to be back under the lights.
He is undefeated, it is in his home town, which will make it all the sweeter and the title is up for grabs. He has got a reputable name and I just want to be fighting.
The more fights the better because that is what I enjoy doing.