Josh Taylor hits out over “disgusting and uncalled for personal attacks” on his family and says he'll take a re-match with Jack Catterall
Josh Taylor has hit out at what he describes as “disgusting and uncalled for personal attacks” on himself and his family – and says he’s prepared to give Jack Catterall a re-match.
What he is not prepared to accept is the abuse he and his family have endured after the controversial judges’ verdict. Taylor has come out fighting.
Fiancée Danielle Murphy, who he will marry this summer, was at the sold-out OVO Hydro in Glasgow to support Taylor on Saturday, along with dad James, mum Diane and sister Finch.
The East Lothian family were pictured celebrating in the ring after the split decision verdict went his way. Taylor has taken to social media to call out the “dusgusting” abuse they have received.
He has also congratulated his 28-year-old opponent from Lancashire for a “valiant fight” and revealed that he is open to a re-match at a heavier weight.
The Scot retained his WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO light-welterweight belts after scrappy 12-round contest went the distance, but the unified champion confirmed afterwards that it would be his last fight in that division after a struggle to make the weight.
Nevertheless, he says Catterall “deserves another title shot” and confirmed he would be willing to face him again at welterweight.
The Scottish champion’s comments come after British boxing chiefs launched an investigation into how the three judges came up with their surprising verdict.
They do not have the power to overturn the result, but regularly investigate scoring after controversial decisions.
Taylor accepts that “many fans believe Jack deserved the decision”, but took to Instagram to call out the online abuse he and his family has suffered.
He said: “I have taken a few days for some well-earned time with my family after not seeing them for a few months. I’ve had a chance to watch the fight back.
“First and foremost, I want to congratulate Jack Catterall on a great fight. He rose to the occasion and fought a valiant fight. However, I believe I won a very close fight.
“Many fans believe Jack deserved the decision, and that’s fine. We both went in there and fought our guts out for 12 rounds… but the personal attacks on myself and my family are disgusting and uncalled for.
He added: “My days at 140 are numbered. My future is at welterweight. Jack Catterall deserves another title shot, and as soon as possible.
“I’ve never ducked a challenge in my career, and I’d be happy to fight Jack again, but it would have to be at welterweight.
“Jack is a great sportsman, a helluva fighter, and deserves every bit of the admiration he has been receiving.”
The British Boxing Board of Control general secretary Robert Smith said he was "very surprised" at the scoring from judge Ian John-Lewis, who gave the fight to Taylor by 114-111.
The other two judges marked the contest closer, with Howard Foster favouring Catterall by 113-112 and Victor Laughlin giving it to Taylor by 113-112.
He told BBC Sport's boxing podcast that he himself thought “Jack nicked it”, but he added: “It was a close fight with some of the rounds going backwards and forwards. I don't think it was robbery.
Smith pointed out that scoring in boxing “is subjective” and confirmed: “We can’t change the decision. Two judges went for Josh and one went for Jack – I don't think there's anything in that. Whether you agree with what they saw is a different thing altogether and that's what we need to investigate.
"We need to do something. I'm not too sure what that is at the moment. The first thing is – we need a full explanation and I need to go through the scorecards one by one."
Meanwhile, Catterall has taken to Instagram saying he stands with those calling for “big changes” to the sport and described himself as the “uncrowned king”.
He posted: “Nothing will ever change how I feel about Saturday – I won that fight," he said.
“I came to the champions' country and gave him a lesson. The decision doesn't sit well with me and I don't think it ever will – they stole a moment in my life I'll never get back.”
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