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Jack Catterall Revenges 2022 Loss To Josh Taylor In Rematch, Top Rank Founder Bob Arum Throws Hypocritical Hissy Fit Over Result

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Jack Catterall celebrates victory after the super lightweight bout against Josh Taylor at the First Direct Arena, Leeds. Picture date: Saturday May 25, 2024. (Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images)

Jack Catterall finally achieved a much-needed victory by unanimous decision (UD) during a rematch with Josh Taylor, who had beaten him in 2022 through a highly-contentious split-decision (SD). The two headlined a Matchroom card at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, the United Kingdom, on Saturday, May 25th.

While no title was on the line for the super lightweight British bout between English contender Jack Catterall (29-1, 13 KO’s) and Scottish fighter Josh Taylor (19-2, 13 KO’s)―unlike their first match which then saw Taylor defend his titles as the undisputed 140 lbs champion, the animosity between the two fighters more than compensated for the unavailability of any belts as the two engaged in a heated and highly-competitive bout.

Since the two had fought in 2022, both fighters had directed steep criticism at each other through interviews, social media, or otherwise, but a planned fight between the two fighters in 2023 was capsized when Taylor grabbed the opportunity to fight Teofimo Lopez (20-1, 13 KO’s) instead; resulting in Taylor losing for the first time of his career.

After the match had been planned for April 27th, an unfortunate training injury forced the match to be postponed again until last Saturday which finally saw the long-overdue rematch to occur. With Catterall having the opportunity to gain revenge for the controversial split-decision loss in 2022 which saw him miss out on a chance to become undisputed, the British fighter vowed to turn things around in the rematch and delivered.

The fight will be remembered for its competitive nature, with Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall each taking a fair amount of rounds for themselves. Similar to their 2022 match, their May 25th, 2024 bout, saw the two British fighters heatedly brawl up close several times, with neither fighter truly willing to stick to the fundamentals.

Despite the close fight, it was Catterall who edged out, landing the greater number of punches while Taylor was more efficient with his own―with CompuBox further verifying there was little separating the two when it came to their punch stats.

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CompuBox’s punch stats for Taylor-Catterall II.

Overall, the match seemed to favor Jack Catterall who came into the match in-form, having won two matches prior, while Josh Taylor went into the bout with a loss on his record; with his fight with Teofimo Lopez further being the only fight he engaged in following his 2022 win over Catterall.

While Taylor did make the match much closer than expected, with CompuBox confirming Taylor had landed more power punches than his rival, there had arguably been more significant moments for Catterall who appeared close to winning by stoppage in the 11th round after stunning Taylor.

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Jack Catterall (left) strikes Josh Taylor in the super lightweight bout at the First Direct Arena, Leeds. Picture date: Saturday May 25, 2024. (Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images)

After 12 rounds, it was Jack Catterall who was announced the winner by unanimous decision (UD), which was not an entirely unexpected result but nonetheless heavily marred by the controversial scorecards of 117-111 twice and 116-113; which not at all reflected the competitiveness of the bout which was closer this time around, then when Taylor and Catterall first faced each other.

The obvious discrepancy with the scorecards even resulted in Top Rank―who represents Josh Taylor―co-founder Bob Arum finding his way into the ring and lashing out at the judges for the scorecards.

I saw a close fight just like everybody else, those scorecards were a disgrace,Arum stated amidst an interview that Catterall was holding with DAZN’s broadcasting team. “And I really feel sorry for Josh [Taylor], I thought he won the fight, but those scorecards were ridiculous. And that’s a lesson.

I will never ever allow an American fighter to come here with this poor scoring of fighting. Those scores were ridiculous.

While Arum did hit at a nagging truth with the scorecards being too wide to be considered realistic and not influenced by some form of bias or favoritism, it should be noted that Arum was completely silent during the first match between Taylor and Catterall in 2022―which saw the latter miss out on the chance to become undisputed.

In that regard, it was sheer hypocrisy emanating from Arum who was fine with his own fighter, Taylor, winning a highly-controversial decision over Catterall two years ago to becoming utterly upset two years later over scorecards that still arguably painted the right result; though the wide scores witnessed do merit a spotlight on the judges, and perhaps even an investigation if possible.

Fortunately for Bob Arum, a trilogy might be on the cards given the close nature of the rematch, but it heavily depends on the path Jack Catterall will choose to take, with the English fighter being well within the rights to choose to vie for a world title.

While Catterall did indicate his interest to face Teofimo Lopez for his WBO 140 lbs belt at the post-fight press conference, Arum’s rant makes the possibility for this fight to occur slim if the plans are to hold the fight in the United Kingdom; setting a precedent for Lopez to potentially gain all the advantages if the fight is staged in the United States of America. A fight between Catterall and Lopez will also be dependent on Lopez’ upcoming June 29th fight against Canadian contender Steve Claggett (38-7-2, 26 KO’s).

Several other significant results on the Matchroom card included a BBBofC-ordered British cruiserweight matchup between Cheavon Clarke (9-0, 7 KO’s) and Ellis Zorro (17-2, 7 KO’s) for the vacant British cruiserweight title. Clarke distinguished himself as a dangerous up-and-comer, managing to knock Zorro out in the 8th round of their 12-round match.

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Cheavon Clarke (right) in action against Ellis Zorro in the vacant BBBofC British Cruiser weight bout at the First Direct Arena, Leeds. Picture date: Saturday May 25, 2024. (Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images)

At welterweight, Irish contender Paddy Donovan (14-0, 11 KO’s) maintained his unbeaten record after stopping British contender Lewis Ritson (23-4, 13 KO’s) in the 9th round of a bout scheduled for 10.

Irish lightweight fighter Gary Cully (18-1, 10 KO’s) is also due to climb up the rankings following a close but definitive victory over Belgian contender Francesco Patera (29-5, 11 KO’s).