Josh Taylor comes up short against Jack Catterall in action-packed Leeds duel

Jack Catterall lands a big left hand on Josh Taylor at the First Direct Arena in LeedsJack Catterall lands a big left hand on Josh Taylor at the First Direct Arena in Leeds
Jack Catterall lands a big left hand on Josh Taylor at the First Direct Arena in Leeds
A battling Josh Taylor lost his grudge rematch as Jack Catteralll took a unanimous victory at a heated night in Leeds.

The three judges somehow scored the bout 117-111, 117-111, 116-113 in favour of the Englishman with the Capital fighter having every right to feel aggrieved.

Indeed, Taylor's promotor Top Rank head honcho Bob Arum branded the result a disgrace and left the ring in disgust amidst the celebrations from the Catterall camp.

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It was a colossal contest that swung back and forth with both fighters leaving nothing left in the ring despite there being no belts on the line. It's Taylor's second defeat of a decorated professional career following his loss to Teofimo Lopez in New York last summer.

But this duo had a score to settle following the Scot's controversial split-decision victory in February 2022 with this second installment capturing the imagination of British boxing fans up and down the country. Taylor promised a barnstormer and so it proved. Unfortunately, it didn't pan out the way he'd hoped.

The atmosphere was simply off the scale as both boxers made their ring walk, Taylor incurring the wrath of the vast majority of the sold-out First Direct Arena despite a strong Scottish contingent making their voices heard among a chorus of boos.

It was a cagey opening with a clash of heads in the second round the first bit of action before Taylor came to the fore, pinning his opponent to the corner with an array of body shots.

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However, Catterall's defence was robust as he landed a big jab to thwart Taylor's attack.

It was fast and ferocious with both not willing to give an inch.

The Englishman came on strong in the final 10 seconds of round four and caught Taylor with a right-left combination and a similar pattern followed at the beginning of round five with Catterall the more dominant. The 30-year-old upped the tempo to produce another strong three minutes that saw the Prestonpans puncher pressed against the ropes on the bell.

But former undisputed super lightweight ring king Taylor is made of the strong stuff and in round seven landed a big left hook - despite a large swelling that had formed under his left eye. He was moving Catterall round the canvas at ease, the Chorley man looking somewhat lacklustre as Taylor eyed a strong finish.

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This was the war expected with both now giving it hell for leather. Taylor was rolling back the clock with his craft and timing. The Scot punched the air as he made his way back to the corner with just two rounds remaining, signalling to the judges he felt in control.

But Catterall wasn't finished as he appeared reenergised. He landed a big right hand that caught the 33-year-old off guard. You could now throw a blanket over both warriors as the final few seconds ticked down. Taylor and Catterall raised their hands as the final bell sounded only for the latter's to remain upright.

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