An Acquired Taste: Is Jack Catterall boring or brilliant, or both?

There is always a backhanded compliment when a boxer is praised for being “exciting” and “fan-friendly.” This usually means that the boxer is vulnerable and easy to hit, often involved in competitive fights that they don’t always win. However, it is also not beneficial for a boxer to win fights convincingly, as this can make them seem unexciting. Perfection is easier to admire than to enjoy. Additionally, a boxing match is more appealing when there is two-way action, rather than one boxer dominating the other with technique. Fans want to be entertained. Jack Catterall, a skilled technician, needs a real challenge to silence those who claim he is not to their taste. His recent fight with Jorge Linares was predictable and lacked drama, leaving both Catterall and the audience unsatisfied. It is questionable why Linares, whose career should be celebrated, was in the ring with Catterall in the first place. Catterall is a fighter who is easily ignored and forgotten, and fights like this only diminish his skills further. If he had beaten Josh Taylor and was now fighting elite opponents, there would be no dispute about whether he is boring or brilliant. But currently, he is showcasing his skills in fights that mean very little to anyone outside his team. This raises the question of whether Catterall is responsible for the lack of attention he receives. Should he try to strike a balance between winning every round and ensuring the fight is entertaining? Winning is everything, according to IBF flyweight champion Sunny Edwards, but that viewpoint may be biased coming from someone with similar skills and struggles. Terence Crawford is a better example for Catterall to aspire to. Crawford possesses the technical skills but also the drive and hunger to finish fights and entertain the audience. Finding that sweet spot between technique and entertainment is a challenge, but it is necessary for a boxer like Catterall.

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