Catterall produced the performance of his career – but was denied victory in a result that left the boxing world baffled
Boxing authorities will launch an inquest following Josh Taylor’s controversial defence of his undisputed super lightweight title over Jack Catterall, a widely-disputed result the Lancastrian says has “stolen his dreams”. The British Boxing Board of Control told Telegraph Sport that they plan to probe the split points decision, although general secretary Robert Smith went on to insist that allegations of corruption from the judges were “nonsense”.
Catterall appeared to have claimed a huge upset victory over Taylor for his WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO belts having appeared to outbox the champion over 12 rounds on Saturday night. Yet somehow Taylor escaped with victory even after being deducted a point, dropped for the first time in his career and out-punched in the first seven rounds by challenger Catterall, who left the arena in Glasgow in disgust without comment after the most accomplished performance of his career.
On Sunday, the 28-year-old southpaw, who had come into the contest undefeated in 26 fights and who proved a match in every way for the rugged Scotsman, spoke of his disgust after the scorecards were revealed as 113-112, 114-111 for Taylor and the third, 112-113 to the challenger.
“You know what hurts the most, it wasn’t for me,” Catterall wrote on Instagram. “I did all of this for my family, my team, my town and country. My baby girl and missus, our future. For what? Boxing shame on you. Judges. Dreams stolen.
“Today I should have been waking up with all of the belts. Fifteen months out of the ring, they all wrote me off. F—– me in every way possible for over two years, finally got the fight. Sacrificed everything to fight one of the top pound for pound ranked fighters, gave him a lesson.”
In a close, scrappy contest, Catterall certainly appeared to have done enough to edge the bout, even though the challenger was deducted a point himself by referee Marcus McDonnell. Promoter Ben Shalom, CEO of BOXXER, who works with Sky Sports, admitted to being “embarrassed” by the judges’ decision.
Smith, general secretary of the BBBC, told Telegraph Sport that he had ordered a report into the scoring of judge Ian John-Lewis, who awarded the bout 114-111 in favour of Taylor. “We will be looking into it. There were some very close rounds, it was a very close, very scrappy fight, and I have asked for reports from the judges which we will be studying this week. Our judges are honest people, and scored it as they saw it. I was there, and I thought Catterall pipped it.”
Taylor, meanwhile, after retaining his titles, responded: “The right man won the fight. I was too hesitant, too tense, tentative in the early rounds. But I started taking over in the second half of the fight. I’m 31 years old, and getting to 140 lbs is difficult. I will be moving up in weight to 147 lbs next for sure.”
On the first knockdown of his career, Taylor commented: “I got caught down low and I went down. It was a good shot, I got up, but I was fine. I thought I took over in the second half of the fight, but it was a close fight. I don’t know why Marcus McDonnell took the point off me, I just tapped his belly to say ‘well done’.”
Jamie Moore, Catterall’s trainer, added that the outcome was “difficult to put into words.”
“You’re talking about a kid that’s worked all his life to wait for that moment,” said Moore. “He performs like that, beats the champion in his own back yard and gets robbed. It’s disgusting.”
Josh Taylor escapes after controversial scoring denies Jack Catterall world titles in Glasgow
Josh Taylor was adamant that victory was his after controversially holding onto his unified super lightweight world titles in spite of being deducted a point, dropped for the first time in his career, and out-punched by challenger Jack Catterall.
Although the three judges’ scorecards from inside Glasgow’s Ovo Hydro Arena recorded a split decision victory to the Scotsman – 113-112, 114-111 and the third, 112-113 to Catterall – there was almost universal condemnation of the judges’ cards, despite Taylor coming back into the fight in the later rounds.
Two of the judges, Ian John-Lewis (114-111) and Victor Loughlin (113-112), scored the fight for Taylor with judge Howard Foster awarding the bout 113-112 for Catterall.
In the event of Loughlin having scored the 12th round for Catterall, the Lancastrian would have won a famous split decision upset victory.
Catterall was so incensed by the result, the 28 year-old refused to attend the post-fight press conference. “I started slow but once I grabbed the momentum I started catching him with the bigger shots. He was trying to spoil a lot. Going down and up a lot and clashing my head,” said Taylor.
“He caught me with a couple of good shots. I’m not gonna lie to you. I put a lot of pressure on myself being the heavy favourite and it showed in the first half of the fight. It wasn’t my best performance but I believe I got the win 100 per cent. But Jack did very well.”
In a rough dance, with much inside fighting, referee Marcus McDonnell was forced several times to warn both fighters, Catterall dropping Taylor in eighth round, from which the champion recovered quickly.
McDonnell also deducted a point from Taylor at the end of the 11th round for a punch after the bell. CompuBox statistics had Taylor landing 73 of 306 punches thrown with Catterall landing 120 of 525 shots thrown.
Catterall out-punched Taylor in the first seven rounds. “It was a little bit close but I know I won the fight,” said Taylor.
“I don’t think there’s any need for a rematch. That most likely will be my last fight at 140 [pounds].”