Jack Catterall’s split decision loss to Josh Taylor on Saturday, could have, in another world, been something simply encouraging for his career. A giant underdog, he not only didn’t get stopped as many expected he would, didn’t get out-classed, but for most, bossed the majority of the fight and deserved to go home the undisputed champion of the world at 140 lbs.
Instead, two judges saw it Taylor’s way, and the Scottish fighter kept his belts. Instead of an incredible moment for the fighter, his team and his family, and even just fans tuned in around the world seeing something special and unexpected, we were treated to more of the same in the sport of boxing.
Catterall’s very immediate feelings were short, not very sweet (rightly so), and shared on Twitter:
What a load of shit!— Jack Catterall (@jack_catt93) February 27, 2022
He then expanded his thoughts a few hours later via his Instagram account, getting more into the heartbreak of what happened on Saturday.
“You know what hurts the most, it wasn’t for me,” Catterall wrote. “I done all of this for my family, my team, my town, and country. My baby girl and missus, our future. Today I should have been waking up with all of the belts. 15 months out of the ring, they wall wrote me off. (They) fucked me in every way possible for over two years (waiting on the mandatory shot), finally got the fight. Sacrificed everything to fight one of the top pound-for-pound ranked boxers, gave him a lesson. For what?
“Boxing, shame on you. Judges (middle finger). Dreams stolen.”
The boxing world is pretty much in total agreement with Catterall, with very few out there believing Taylor should have gotten the decision. It’s neither the first time nor the last; in all reality, if you’ve been around a while, it probably wasn’t even among the very, truly worst decisions you’ve seen if you take a moment and reflect on how much absolute nonsense you’ve seen, from world title fights down to opening bouts on a prelim stream.
None of this is really meant as a knock on Josh Taylor personally. He didn’t score the fight, and if you think there’s corruption involved instead of mere incompetence, it is unlikely Taylor himself would be directly involved in any nefarious dealings or issues. Josh Taylor had a rough night while Jack Catterall had a really good one, but Taylor did everything he could to take that fight back in the end. Taylor’s effort was commendable; he left what he had in the ring. It’s just that very few believe the end result of that effort was enough to be rewarded with victory.
Simply put, Jack Catterall was shafted on Saturday by a sport that sees this happen far too often, daring paying customers to simply stop caring and stop watching. The problem is, for decades now, people have stopped caring and stopped watching in droves, boiling down the audience for the sport and turning its average world title events into niche programming. Yes, it is occasionally still extremely lucrative, and that’s on the nuts and bolts of the sport; boxing is widely appealing to a great many people, with a history intricately and often romantically woven into various sporting and pop cultures around the world.
But boxing has only itself to blame for its decline. There are more factors than just robbery decisions for that — many more — but robbery decisions have played their unfortunate, ugly part, and on Saturday, took what should have been a massively memorable, history making moment from Jack Catterall.