IBF/WBA/WBC/WBO light welterweight champion Josh Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs) sounded bitter after winning a 12 round split decision victory over Jack Catterall (26-1, 13 KOs) on Saturday night.
Two of the judges gave it to Taylor by the scores 114-111, 113-112, and the third had Catterall winning 113-112. With the fight taking place in Taylor’s hometown in Glasgow, Scotland, some boxing fans believe it was another example of home cooking.
Taylor said that he was only at 60% of what he usually is and that Catterall would never beat him at his best.
Despite getting the nod on the scorecards, Taylor sounded more like a loser after the fight than the winner. 31-year-old Taylor said, “I don’t care what people think. I won the fight.
“The fight was close. No, it wasn’t my best performance, but we know who won the fight,” said Taylor.
The underdog Catterall outboxed and outworked Taylor and looked to have done enough to win the fight by two or three rounds.
In the eighth round, Catterall knocked Taylor down. No one would have ever thought that a non-puncher like Catterall would drop Taylor, but it suggests he’s not the fighter he was four years ago.
Some boxing fans may forget that Taylor took an enormous amount of punishment in his last fight against Jose Ramirez in May of last year.
After a war like that, it’s not surprising that Taylor didn’t fight as well as he had in the past. Those wars take a lot out of fighters, and frequently they’re never the same.
Taylor would have lost to Ramirez if not for him surprising him by nailing him with hard shots on the break. For fighters accustomed to their opponents not trying to be sneaky coming off a break, Ramirez wasn’t ready and ended up getting dropped by Taylor.
You can’t depend on that kind of junk to win fights consistently, as once your opponent’s spot that you hit on the break, they’ll be ready for that.
“All the marquee fights are at 147. Even non-title fights are at 147 are massive fights. I feel I’ve earned the right to be in big fights now,” said Taylor.
“The way I come up, I took all the early risks with the way I came up with my career. I’ve taken all the risks. Tonight wasn’t a great performance. I know people are coming up with, ‘Oh, Josh Taylor, that’s an easy fight.’
“Trust me, that was far from my best, and when I move up to 147, I’m going to be a monster up there, and I’m going to be even better than I am now.
“On my best performance, Jack Catterall gets nowhere near me. That was a 60% performance from me tonight, but I still won the fight. On my best, he’s never going to beat me. That was Jack Catterall’s best-ever performance that he’s ever going to produce.
“That’s not disrespecting to Jack Catterall, but I know I’m so much better than I was tonight. At 147, it’s a different ballgame for me,” said Taylor.