By: Hans Themistode
A look of despair and uncertainty was plastered onto the face of Josh Taylor following 12 hard-fought rounds against Jack Catterall.
Pegged as a considerable favorite heading into their February 26th showdown, most were under the assumption that Taylor would waltz through the ropes and dazzle his hometown crowd at the SSE Hydro. Yet, Catterall refused to simply lay down.
The former undefeated contender stood defiantly in the face of the undisputed 140-pound titlist and did as he pleased. In addition to outboxing Taylor for long stretches, Catterall successfully knocked his man down in the eighth. Although a point was taken away from him for excessive holding, Catterall screamed exuberantly as the final few seconds officially ticked off the clock.
Having turned in a career-best performance, Catterall was convinced that his world title dreams were only moments away from being realized.
However, Catterall was left shellshocked as Taylor was announced the victor. Initially, Taylor was bemused as criticism and controversy mounted. Taylor, 31, was originally of the belief that Catterall won no more than a handful of rounds. Nevertheless, having flicked on his television set and rewatched their contest on several occasions, Taylor admits that after further analysis, although he still believes the right man won, giving Catterall the decision would have been fair as well.
“I can see why people thought that Jack won,” said Taylor during an interview with Sky Sports Boxing. “There were a lot of rounds in there that could’ve went either way. If it was a draw, it would have been a fair result. If it had went to Jack by a point or two, I wouldn’t have grumbled. Obviously, I would’ve been gutted that I lost my titles. I still feel like I did just enough to win the fight. It was a close fight, it could’ve went either way. I personally scored it 113-112 for myself.”
In addition to Taylor coming to the realization that giving Catterall the nod wouldn’t have been considered controversial, the current undisputed world titlist is pondering a move up in weight. Having spent the entirety of his career at 140 pounds, Taylor believes that his 5’10” frame has made it nearly impossible for him to continue defending his undisputed throne.
While Taylor admits that it wasn’t his best day at the office, he maintains that an arduous weight cut played an enormous part in his disappointing showing.
“It was a really bad performance for myself. Way below par. I just felt that I couldn’t really get going. I think that the weight cut had a massive impact on my performance. There’s no excuse, it was a bad performance, it is what it is.”