Catterall beats Taylor by unanimous decision in epic rematch

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Catterall beats Taylor by unanimous decision in epic rematch

Jack Catterall beat former undisputed world super lightweight champion Josh Taylor by a unanimous decision in a thrilling rematch in Leeds on Saturday night.

Catterall avenged his controversial split-decision defeat to Taylor in Glasgow two years ago, landing the heavier punches to finally settle the score in one of British boxing’s biggest grudge fights in recent memory.

All three judges gave the fight at a sold-out First Direct Arena to Catterall, two by scores of 117-111 and the other by 116-113, although Taylor will feel aggrieved it was not scored closer.

Taylor worked busily behind his jab in the early rounds, while southpaw Catterall enjoyed particular success with his left hook.

After an accidental clash of heads in the second round Taylor briefly backed his opponent on to the ropes, but Catterall responded with a swinging left before another head clash at the start of the third caused Taylor to wince.

Jack Catterall and Josh Taylor produced an epic for the Leeds crowd

Image: Jack Catterall and Josh Taylor produced an epic for the Leeds crowd

Catterall landed two successive lefts at the end of the fourth and looked to take charge in the fifth, finding his range with his jab before hurting Taylor with a series of lefts and rights that pressed the Scot against the ropes.

Taylor regained his composure in the sixth despite a swelling under his right eye, but Catterall’s punches continued to be more accurate and heavier.

Two short rights from Taylor gave him momentum in the seventh as both fighters traded blows and the Scot proved more effective again in the eighth to even up the fight.

Catterall breached his opponent’s defence early in the ninth and both boxers went toe-to-toe.

Taylor stalked his man in the 10th, now looking the more menacing fighter, and landed with a right and then an uppercut.

But a thundering straight right from Catterall in the 11th had Taylor in trouble with little to separate the pair going into the final round as they punched themselves to a standstill.

Jack Catterall refused to be denied a second time after losing out to Josh Taylor in their controversial first fight

Image: Jack Catterall refused to be denied a second time after losing out to Josh Taylor in their controversial first fight

The two fighters first clashed in February 2022 when Taylor controversially retained his WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO belts in Glasgow via a contentious split decision.

Most observers felt Chorley’s Catterall did enough to win and in the two years since, the fighters have traded insults in person and on social media.

This second meeting – no belts were on the line – was twice postponed, first in January 2023 due to Taylor’s foot injury and again in March this year when the Scot had a minor eye problem.

Taylor, who became Britain’s first undisputed world champion in the four-belt era by defeating Jose Ramirez in Las Vegas in 2021, lost to American Teofimo Lopez in June last year in his only fight since first facing Catterall.

The Edinburgh man’s record now stands at 20-2, with Catterall’s at 29-1 and there will now be a clamour for a decisive third meeting.

Earlier on the undercard, Jamaican-born Chev Clarke won the vacant British cruiserweight title by knocking out Lewisham’s Ellis Zorro in the eighth round.

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