Boxing

Jack Catterall gains ‘justice’ with victory over Josh Taylor in thrilling rematch

Jack Catterall gains ‘justice’ with victory over Josh Taylor in thrilling rematch

Jack Catterall banished the shadow of his controversial loss to Josh Taylor by defeating the Scot in a thriller on Saturday.

Over two years after Taylor won a hotly-contested decision against the Englishman in Glasgow, Catterall outboxed a determined Taylor to gain “justice” – as promoter Eddie Hearn described the result.

Catterall avenged the sole loss of his professional career by winning 117-111, 117-111, 116-113 in Leeds. Hearn did suggest that the scorecards were “too wide”, while fellow promoter Bob Arum grabbed a microphone to declare the scores a “disgrace”, but most observers agreed that Catterall was the right winner.

While the rivals’ first clash was a scrappy affair, their rematch produced numerous moments of great quality.

Taylor pressed forward throughout, while Catterall fought well behind his jab and put together a number of impressive flurries. Catterall started to pull away as the fight entered its second half, and although a resilient Taylor arrested some momentum, his fellow southpaw produced more crucial moments of quality late on.

In the 11th round, Taylor walked onto a hard left hook, and Catterall added another before pouring on straight shots. A desperate Taylor held Catterall, and the pair tumbled to the mat together – just as they did in their first fight.

It was not the first time that Catterall had Taylor in trouble in the fight, and although Catterall seemed tired at times, he navigated the final moments well to secure the unanimous-decision victory.

In their first fight, Taylor retained the undisputed super-lightweight titles. He later vacated and was stripped of three of the four belts, before losing his final strap to Teofimo Lopez last June. Meanwhile, Catterall went 2-0 in the time between his fights with Taylor.

Catterall won on all three cards, though many observers suggested the scores were too wide (Getty Images)

“It’s bittersweet tonight,” Catterall said. “No world titles, [but] I won the fight. We can close that chapter with Josh Taylor.

“Listen, I believe I won the fight, I took more risks this time. Josh is an elite operator. I boxed smart. Even in the second half of the fight, the rounds when I was more reserved, I was controlling the pace.

“It was a fight of two halves, but I still believe: The rounds that I won, I won clearly. None of it’s personal, we’ve shared 24 rounds together now, so respect to Josh.”

Taylor said: “I thought it was a great fight. Fair play to Jack, he boxed a better fight today. I thought I just nicked it. It was a close fight. If he wants to go on to bigger fights, he deserves it. He won, but that’s 1-1; let’s do a trilogy.”

Catterall’s promoter Hearn added: “I think the judges’ scorecards were too wide, but the right man won. Listen, I love Scotland, but justice was served tonight. But he should have the belts around his waist.

“That was a tremendous battle. Jack boxed beautifully at times. He deserves to be world champion, that’s got to be the focus. I’d love to see this guy challenge for – and rightfully win – a world title.”

Taylor’s promoter Arum, 92, then seized a microphone to label the scores a “disgrace”, to the sound of boos at the First Direct Arena.

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