Josh Taylor Remains Undisputed Super Lightweight Champion In Questionable Split Decision

Josh Taylor has retained his undisputed super lightweight champion status after a 12 round war with Jack Catterall. This was the opportunity that Catterall had been waiting for, a shot to dethrone the undisputed world champion from Scotland. While Catterall did seize his opportunity in a beautiful display of boxing, the split decision did not go his way, which was a surprise to many.

Through the first half of the bout, both fighters had their moments, but it was clear to see that Jack Catterall was the one in the control. Taylor was having a tough time with Catterall’s distance management and was struggling to gain enough ground to land inside shots. When Taylor was able to get inside, he unloaded stiff punches. But, Catterall utilized his defensive abilities very well, rolling and tucking his chin down on the inside of his shoulder to minimize the damage.

By the halfway mark of this undisputed title match, you could start to sense the urgency that the champion was beginning to feel. Taylor adjusted his game plan and applied more forward pressure, imposing his physical strength in an effort to turn this into a battle of grit. While this certainly helped Taylor’s situation, the damage he was taking in the process was adding up, and the small cut under his eye that he suffered earlier in the fight was now growing and bothering him much more than initially expected.

In the eighth round, Catterall dropped Taylor at the tail end of an exchange with a hard left hook that landed perfectly behind the ear. Taylor was able to rise to his feet and up the pace even more. While it was an impressive showing of adversity to continue trading with the challenger, Taylor would go on to definitively lose this round.

In the ninth round, Taylor bounced back and created some excellent openings in the Englishman’s defense by stepping inside and landing to the body. As things progressed into the tenth, Taylor moved with urgency as he hunted for the knockout to avoid an upset. Catterall sensed this and began excessively holding despite the referees warnings. This would result in a point being taken away from Catterall, which put a stain on his otherwise extremely impressive performance.

Taylor continued looking for opportunities to land big shots through the eleventh round, without much luck. In an act of pure frustration, Taylor gave his opponent a light shot to the body well after the bell had sounded to end the round. This resulted in Josh Taylor receiving a point deduction of his own, a very risky move to make at the later stages of a close title match.

Before the start of the final round, Taylor’s corner was encouraging him to really get after it and not let this one go to the judge’s scorecards. Catterall did he best to evade, but got clipped with a few hard shots while being pressured by the undisputed titleholder. Jack did an excellent job of strategically tying up his opponent when he sensed danger, but Taylor was still able to gain a good amount of traction in the last minute of the fight and leave it all in the ring like a true champion.

Through this match, Josh Taylor adds a 19th win to his undefeated record, while Jack Catterall records his first loss in 27 fights.

While the scoring of this fight was questionable in the eyes of many, the simple fact of the matter is Jack Catterall did not press the action for the full 12 rounds, and spent a large amount of time moving backwards to avoid a firefight with Taylor. This, in some circumstances, can be the difference maker in a highly competitive, closely scored match. Boxing is a risky sport when things land in the hands of the judges, the job of the fighter is to leave as little room for doubt as possible.

Official Result: Josh Taylor defeats Jack Catterall via Decision (Split) – 113-112, 114-111, 113-112

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