Josh Taylor beats Jack Catterall via hugely controversial split decision to remain undisputed world champion

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Josh Taylor remains the undisputed super-lightweight world champion after a hugely controversial split-decision win over Jack Catterall in Glasgow.

The ‘Tartan Tornado’ retained his WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, WBO and The Ring belts in the 10st division despite appearing second-best for much of the contest against Lancashire’s ‘El Gato’ and being knocked down in round eight.

Both fighters had a point deducted during a tense and entertaining battle that was scrappy, awkward and messy at times and absolutely captivating at others, with Taylor awarded the win by two judges Ian John-Lewis and Victor Loughlin, 114-111 and 113-112, with only one 113-112 scorecard from Howard Foster in favour of WBO mandatory challenger Catterall, who stormed backstage in fury after the result was read out.

Catterall’s coach Jamie Moore called the result “disgusting” in an emotional post-fight interview as his charge tried to process events alone in the dressing room, while BOXXER promoter Ben Shalom told Sky Sports he was “embarrassed” on an uncomfortable night for British boxing.

Taylor, meanwhile, claimed he had done more than enough to win the fight, insisting there is no need for a rematch after what was likely his last outing at the weight before a move up to welter, where he will be targeting big money-spinning bouts against the likes of the great Terence Crawford.

On Saturday’s undercard, Cuba’s two-time Olympic champion Robeisy Ramirez delivered a boxing clinic on his first fight in the UK since claiming gold at London 2012, dominating former five-time Irish national champion Eric Donovan with an electric third-round stoppage.

The Scottish heavyweight title was also contested for the first time in 71 years, with Nick Campbell halting the colourful Jay McFarlane in the seventh round of a bizarre battle between two relative novices.

Paddy Donovan delivered a stylish performance against the durable Miroslav Serban, with that one-sided contest waved off in the final round due to a cut to the ear sustained by the Czech welterweight.

Former leading Team GB amateur Ebonie Jones was held to a battling draw by Effy Kathopouli and John Docherty provided an eye-catching early stoppage of Jordan Grant in another all-Scottish showdown.

Kurt Walker also stopped Jaroslav Hriadel, while there were early wins for Kieran Molloy and Mark McKeown.