Prospects

Chorley's Jack Catterall is building a strong following in the North West and we caught up with the talented southpaw ahead of his next fight in Manchester later this month.

By Adam Norman: Twitter @SkySportsNorm.   Last Updated: 05/11/13 7:12pm

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Chorley's up-and-coming lightweight Jack Catterall is happy to let his trainer do the talking for him as he continues to build his profile in the North West.

Catterall is just 5-0 since joining the paid ranks as a teenager but Lee Beard has been banging the drum for some time, claiming he has something special on his hands.

Time will surely tell whether that is the case, but Catterall has been turning a few heads over the past 12 months and will be looking to convert a few more fans when he returns to action at Bowler's in Manchester on November 22.

"We went over to Sheffield and sparred Kell Brook, we did four rounds and it was good to find out what it's like to be in the ring with an elite fighter."
Jack Catterall

The 20-year-old's quiet, laid-back demeanour hides a confident, determined streak that reveals itself in humble tones.

"I've had five fights in my first year and had a step up on the Amir Khan-Julio Diaz undercard against Mark McKray, who is a bit of a puncher," he told Sky Sports.

"I boxed really well against him and then fought a lad on his debut last time, we didn't know much about him other than that he had done well in the amateurs. We didn't know what to expect from him but managed to stop him in the second round.

"That was in June, I was a reserve for Prizefighter the following month but didn't get to perform, which was disappointing. Chris Jenkins won it but I think he looked good mainly because the other guys weren't that good. I didn't get too down about it though.

"At the same time there was a lot going on in the gym with Matthew Hatton and (IBF super-featherweight champion) Argenis Mendez fighting for titles, so I was in the gym all the time, learning from them and watching them prepare for big fights.

"I wouldn't say it's been frustrating not being able to fight as I've been in the gym working on a few things, but I've not got a promoter and things aren't that simple at the moment."

Sparring

As well as sparring his world renowned gymmates, Beard has hooked up his protege with quality practice partners both at home and abroad.

"I've had some great sparring, guys like Tom Stalker and Scott Cardle, and some tough sparring over in New York with Mendez, Miami with lots of tough Cubans and Dominicans," he added.

"We went over to Sheffield and sparred Kell Brook, we did four rounds and it was good to find out what it's like to be in the ring with an elite fighter.

"I've been in with both Matthew and Kell - Matt's got a great engine, he comes forward in round 10 as he does in the first round, actually I found him quite easy to catch but of course he was at the end of his career.

"With Kell, who is right at his peak, he throws lots of single, heavy shots and is a really strong, physical guy.

"But Mendez is pound-for-pound the hardest puncher I've sparred with. His speed is incredible and for a super-featherweight he's so powerful."

Catterall was able to turn professional at such a young age because he was only 10 when he first pulled on a glove in anger - and only then because he had been forced to wait.

"I tried a few different combat sports when I was younger but they weren't really doing it for me," he said. "My local boxing club in Chorley don't let you train until you are 10 so as soon as I was that age I went down there and never looked back really, trained for a year and had my first fight when I was 11.

"I've only had five fights but I feel like I'm ready to take on some tougher fights domestically, I don't want to wait around."
Catterall

"I had 66 amateur fights in total and I think I won 48. I started taking fights all over the country, did some training in Bolton and Collyhurst, and finally at Leigh boxing club where I really started progressing.

"I had 22 fights, 20 wins and got to the final of the junior ABAs. But my style was always suited to the pros and my last fight was in March last year.

"I won an area bout but I finished college and it would be another year to the senior ABAs. I had already met Lee, my current trainer, and as it was always my dream to be a professional I thought I'd crack on and give it a go.

"It would have been a long time training for one championship and with the decisions you sometimes get I didn't feel it was worth it."

Ambition

And like a lot of young professionals the lure of one day capturing the much sought-after Lonsdale Belt is something that drives Catterall.

"I've only had five fights but I feel like I'm ready to take on some tougher fights domestically, I don't want to wait around and maybe next year I'd like to get into a position to fight for the British title.

"Every British boxer's dream is to put on that belt, and I'm no different. But I'm just focusing on this next fight and whoever Lee puts in front of me I'm happy to take on.

"The fight's on the night before Froch-Groves so there should be a great buzz in Manchester. I've not boxed on one of Dave Coldwell's shows before so I'm excited and it's something different."

The last word went to Beard, who believes the one they call 'El Gato' has all the attributes to become a star in the sport.

"Everyone who he has sparred have spoken very highly of him," he said. "He's physically very strong at the weight and that's a great attribute to have in the pro game.

"He's very quick, a good body puncher and can box as well as fight on the front foot. He's got long arms and surprises a lot of people with his range. For a guy his age he's got a lot going for him.

"The last year he has come on in leaps and bounds and all he needs to do is keep progressing the way he has - if he can do that he's going to be going all the way to the top."

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