Josh Taylor Team Slam Scorecards In Defeat To Jack Catterall: ‘It’s A Disgrace’

May 26, 2024
3 weeks
Jack Catterall beat Josh Taylor on points in their rematch

The trainer and promoter of Josh Taylor, Joe McNally and Bob Arum, both labeled two judges’ scores in his rematch defeat to Jack Catterall on Saturday as a “disgrace.”

Taylor (19-2-0 13 KO) slipped to his second straight defeat after all three judges sided with Catterall in Leeds, England. Lee Every awarded the fight 116-113 to the Englishman, while the other two judges, Kevin Parker and Kieran McCann, scored it much wider at 117-111.

It was a fight intended to end the controversy of their first bout from February 2022 when Taylor, then the undisputed super-lightweight world champion, was given a split-decision victory despite many viewers believing Catterall had won.

The rematch was another closely contested bout, and while most outside of Team Taylor thought the right man won, the wideness of two of the judges’ scorecards raised more than a few eyebrows.

Top Rank president Arum was so enraged at the 117-111 scores that he took the microphone in the ring and vowed to never send any of his American boxers to fight in the UK under the British Boxing Board of Control.

Taylor Calls For Trilogy With Catterall

“I saw the fight like everybody else and those scorecards were a disgrace, an absolute disgrace,” Arum said after interrupting Catterall’s post-fight interview as boos rang around the arena in response to the promoter’s comments.

“I really feel sorry for Josh. I thought he won the fight, but those scorecards were ridiculous. And that is a lesson; I will never, ever allow an American fighter to come here with the British board scoring the fight. Those scores were ridiculous.”

Taylor was asked for his reaction immediately after Arum’s rant, and while the Scot believed he won the fight, he was gracious in defeat. It was a dramatic, but not unexpected, departure from the bad blood between him and Catterall in the build-up.

“I thought it was a great fight, fair play to Jack,” Taylor said. “It was a much better fight than the first fight, it was great. I thought I just nicked it, it was a close fight. I think the controversy of the first fight played into the judges’ hands … but fair play to Jack, he won the fight. Let’s do a third one.”

McNally Slams ‘Joke’ Judges

Taylor’s trainer, McNally, took a similar stance to Arum when speaking to iFL TV after the fight, while also paying credit to Catterall.

“[It was] a Josh Taylor win, very good fight. I thought Jack Catterall fought a fantastic fight, as did Josh Taylor,” McNally said. “The ebb and flow that I wanted all week happened tonight. They both put on a magnificent performance. Catterall upped his game and I certainly thought Josh performed way better than the first fight.

“I had him up by a couple of rounds. For me, Compubox tells the story; Jack out-jabbed him and Taylor out-landed him with the power punches by 40 percent. If this fight was anywhere but here [in England], Josh Taylor would have won the fight.

“I’m certainly not taking anything away from Jack Catterall – he’s a fantastic fighter. I’ve been a fan of him for a long time, I like him as a person and kudos to him. If he pushes on a does well, good luck to the kid.”

When asked what his first thoughts were when he heard the scores, McNally added: “I thought it was a f*****g joke. As soon as they said 117-111, the first thing I thought was: three English judges. My initial worry at the press conference (before the fight) was this panel of three English judges. They were massively underprepared for this fight and occasion. It needed experienced operators. It’s a disgrace.”