JOSH TAYLOR’S reign as undisputed world champion goes on but only just as Jack Catterall pushed him all the way before coming out on the wrong end of a split points decision at the Hydro in Glasgow.
The self-styled Tartan Tornado had been the overwhelming favourite to retain his super-lightweight crown against the unfancied Englishman.
But it was Catterall who looked far more clinical and polished for most of the fight as he looked set to pull off one of the biggest shocks in world boxing of recent times.
It looked like the challenger had done more than enough but two of the judges called it differently, scoring it in Taylor’s favour – 114-111 and 113-112 – with the other scoring it 113-112 for Catterall who looked distraught as the result was announced.
Catterall, who loses for the first time in his professional career, had put Taylor to the canvas for the first time in his professional career in the eighth round in what was a scrappy contest regularly interrupted by a fussy referee.
Taylor had confidently predicted another victory in the build-up but lacked his usual efficiency and clinical power as Catterall expertly worked his way around the ring, evading any big shots.
It became evident from around the midway point that the Prestonpans southpaw was probably going to need a knock-out to retain his belts but that never looked likely with Catterall looking comfortable and then clinching whenever Taylor tried to get into his rhythm.
But when the fight went the distance the judges, somehow, scored it in Taylor’s favour to extend his three-year reign as world champion.