Josh Taylor Survives War with Jack Catterall to Keep Undisputed Championship!
Nine months after defeating Jose Carlos Ramirez to become the undisputed super lightweight champion, Josh “The Tartan Tornado” Taylor (19-0, 13 KO’s) retained his quartet of titles in brutal fashion. In his first title defense, Taylor thwarted game challenger Jack “El Gato” Catterall (26-1, 13 KO’s) by way of a hard-fought split decision win.
Despite being the heavy favorite going into the fight, the Tartan Tornado told everyone who would listen that Catterall was a rough customer. When all was said and done, this was very much the case! This should not be that much of a jaw-dropping revelation given that El Gato was ranked #1 (WBO), #9 (WBA) and #9 (WBC) heading into this bout.
The loss will no doubt be a bitter one for Catterall who has waited for this shot at the champ since 2019. Rather than imposing his rights as a mandatory challenger, Catterall stepped to the side to allow Taylor to fight Ramirez in the big match for undisputed. Sadly, for him though, he lost his chance to secure all the marbles in one grab.
COMING FOR THE TITLES!
Very little transpired between the two fighters in the jittery, range-finding opening round. Catterall’s jab dominated the first half of the second round, yet Taylor did start coming on in the final ninety seconds. During the same period, the Tartan Tornado was warned for rabbit punches while Catterall was admonished for wrestling.
By the fourth round, it seemed rather evident that Taylor was suffering a bit of Teofimo Fever. Similar to Teofimo Lopez in his bout with George Kambosos, the Tartan Tornado appeared to be overly fixated with hurting or stopping Catterall. This mind state left him generally waiting on one big punch rather than simply letting his punches flow. This gave El Gato the room and opportunity to score with quite a bit of his own offense.
The champion attempted to roughhouse Catterall a bit in the fifth, but not much changed about the overall flavor of the fight. Now though, Taylor had a mouse under his right eye. The Tartan Tornado did little outside of smother himself and eat clean shots in the sixth. In the opening minute of the eighth round, whilst trading shots center-ring, the champ was caught and dropped with a pair of left hooks. The Tartan Tornado angrily got up and fought bravely to the end but the damage had been done.
A WILD RIDE
The ninth was an exceedingly ugly round littered throughout with holding and grappling. Referee Marcus McDonnell even halted the action to talk to both fighters. Yet it should be noted that referee McDonnell was far too vocal in this bout as this was about the fifth time that he had stopped the action to run his mouth. Then, in the tenth, the ref stopped the action about four more times in the single round and even deducted Catterall a critical point for holding.
There appeared to be a significant shift in dynamics in the eleventh, as now Taylor was pressing forward and finding a great deal less resistance when doing so. He was not so much running Catterall over as this was a case of El Gato’s offensive drying up a bit. Then, after the bell rings in the eleventh, Marcus McDonnell deducted a ludicrous point from Taylor when he tapped Catterall in the belly.
Taylor clearly took the final round as El Gato did little else other than move backwards and hold on. Despite this, there was real tension going into the announcement of the scorecards. The suspense was broken when the tallies of 113-112 for Catterall, then 114-111 and 113-112 for Taylor signaled a successful first title defense for the champion. Even though he picked up the win, this was certainly not the showing that the Tartan Tornado wanted to display.
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By: Bakari Simpson