Jack Catterall drops then decisions Abderrazak Houya
Jack Catterall has maintained his #1 ranking with the WBO since former title holder Maurice Hooker was the top dog of the organization. His dominant win over the brash Ohara Davies in October 2018 put him in position for a title shot.
However, with Hooker losing his title to now unified champion Jose Ramirez in July 2019 and with the latter looking to pursue a dream of becoming the next undisputed champion of the division, the #1 contender has had to wait. Although, Catterall recently showed empathy as he “stepped-aside” to allow Ramirez to pursue that achievement.
Now the British slickster finds himself keeping busy as he awaits the winner of Ramirez and the other unified champion of the division, Josh Taylor. In a little over a year of inactivity, Catterall returns against the unranked Abderrazak Houya.
GOTTA SHAKE OFF THE RUST
I’m not sure if it was ring-rust or fighting down to his opponent’s level but Caterall’s performance was dull at best! Houya is an orthodox fighter from France who doesn’t have a noticeable name on his resume. He is clearly the caliber of fighter the #1 contender should have simply outclassed and possibly gotten out there early.
While Catterall did win virtually every round, he looked pedestrian in doing so. Several times, he lost his footing while utilizing his slick style and looked uncomfortable trying to setup his left-hand. It’s not like fans should have expected him to destroy Houya in 2 rounds since he is not known for his power. However, fighters need to get guys who do not belong in the ring with them, out of there!
At one point, the commentators stated “it’s hard to look good against a fighter like Houya”. But in his last fight, the underdog traveled to Spain and was thoroughly outclassed by another “unranked” contender who is a a few classes below Catterall. Therefore, the awkward performance from the Brit had nothing to do with Houya’s style.
WARMING UP, THEN COOLING OFF
This fight started to weigh heavy on the eyes going into the sixth round. As Catterall looked to find his rhythm, Houya attempted to do more than his skills could possibly allow which resulted in a sloppy attack. Finally action came when the two got somewhat tied up trying to position themselves. When both men circled to opposite sides, Catterall unleashed a left hook that sent his opponent to the canvas.
Unfortunately for the British contender, this came late in the round. Therefore, when he attempted to go for the knockout upon Houya’s recovery, he ran out of time.
Damn, we still gotta watch more rounds of this!
Three rounds of sleep-inducing action later, Catterall would score another knockdown with the left hook. This time as his opponent was stepping back, he stepped in with the lead hook and landed it flush on the chin. Houya crumpled to the ground. He made it back to his feet but looked extremely bothered by the shot.
Nevertheless, Catterall elected to cruise instead of going for the knockout. This led to Houya finishing the round and the fight!
GOTTA SHOW AND PROVE
Although Catterall won this fight easily, he did not give the kind of performance that would warrant fans supporting him as the next opponent for the winner of Ramirez vs Taylor. For example, if the winner decides they want to forgo a fight against Catterall, drop the belts and move up to welterweight, fans would back the #1 contender in abundance if he would have impressed in this fight.
Now if the winner decided to ignore Catterall, fans probably wouldn’t care. Boxing is a sport where fighters have to leave a positive impression each time they enter the ring. If not, they will instantly lose marketability which is needed to help them land big fights.
For now, Catterall is still a guy people want to see fight the winner of Ramirez vs Taylor. Hopefully, this performance does not change that.
By: EJ Williams