There have been widespread calls of “robbery” after Josh Taylor beat Jack Catterall by split decision to retain his super lightweight world titles.
Catterall dominated the first half of the fight and despite Taylor showing some fight in the second half, it was widely thought the Englishman had done enough to knock over the unified champion in Glasgow.
Watch Taylor vs Catterall Undisputed Super-Lightweight Title Fight Live on Kayo Sunday 27th Feb. Main Card starts 6AM. New to Kayo? Try 14-days free now >
Taylor was knocked down in the eighth round, while both fighters were docked a point each too.
But Taylor won 112-113, 114-11, 113-112.
“That is absolutely stunning,” Sky Sports’ Adam Smith said as Taylor had his hand raised. “Josh Taylor retains his titles on a split decision. And I’m looking around at ring side… and they cannot believe it.”
The decision rocked the boxing world and left Catterall livid, as the 28-year-old stormed out without speaking to anyone.
“You’ve asked Jack to come down here, as if Jack can come down and speak,” trainer Jamie Moore said. “He’s absolutely heartbroken.”
Eventually Catterall did speak, issuing a five-word tweet that made it clear what he thought.
“What a load of s***!” he tweeted, a mere two hours after the split decision defeat.
Former champion Johnny Nelson was one of the many pundits left aghast.
“I thought it was a done deal,” Nelson said on Sky Sports.
“He put up a class performance, totally out-boxed Taylor for the first six rounds.
“What the judges were seeing is mind-boggling.”
He added: “I am so, so surprised. I gave Josh Taylor four rounds – 7, 9, 10 and 12 – and that was it. I can’t believe it. I’m in shock.
“I actually thought this guy’s weight drained, he’s done something not right, he’s losing this fight hands down.
“Jack Catterall, I feel sorry for him because this is what turns the casual fans off boxing when you see decisions made like that.
“I’ll watch it again, but you’ve got experts ringside, they’re thinking what are you talking about? In my head, Josh Taylor didn’t win that, he did not win that fight.”
Taylor, 31, is now 19-0.
Speaking soon after the controversial win, the Scot admitted he was slow out of the blocks but believed he did enough to win.
“100 per cent, I started a little slow but once I got into my rhythm and started getting him my timing and catching him with the bigger shots,” Taylor said.
“He got me with a couple good shots, I’m not going to lie.
“It wasn’t my best performance, I put a lot of pressure on myself these couple of weeks with my homecoming, the first time in three year. I put a helluva pressure on myself with being the heavy favourite and it showed in the first half of the fight, but once I got my rhythm I started catching him with the bigger shots.
“It wasn’t my best performance but I believe I got the win, 100 per cent I got the win. But Jack did very well.”
Asked if he would consider a rematch, Taylor said it could be the last time he fights in the weight-division.
He added: “I don’t think there’s any need for a rematch, I won the fight. I won the fight by a couple of rounds, I won the fight in the second half when I took over and I bossed him.”
Catterall’s trainer Jamie Moore labelled the result “disgusting”.
“It’s difficult to put into words,” he said.
“You’re talking about a kid who has worked all his life to wait for that moment, he beats the champion in his own backyard and gets absolutely robbed.”