Most observers ringside and those watching at home felt the Chorley star had catapulted himself into boxing superstardom with a stunning display to dethrone Scottish star Josh Taylor and become undisputed world super-lightweight champion.
An outsider facing a man widely regarded as one of the best fighters on the planet, Catterall started on the front foot to silence the 12,000 strong Glasgow crowd and seemingly rip up the script to win the WBO, WBC, IBF and WBA titles.
Imperious through the opening six rounds, Catterall felled Taylor in the eighth and when the 12 rounds were up, the reading of the judges’ scorecards was seemingly a formality.
Not so, despite Catterall having seemingly won the fight with room to spare, only Howard Foster gave him the decision by a point, 113-112.
Both Ian John-Lewis, 114-11, and Victor Loughlin, 113-112, gave the nod to the home favourite who escaped with his titles and undefeated record with a split decision victory.
For Catterall it was on paper the first defeat of his professional career in his 27th fight, but that doesn’t even come close to telling the story of a career-best performance that somehow went unrewarded.
The long-time No.1 contender with the WBO has had a stop-start few years as he waited, and waited, and waited for his shot at the big one. And patience had seemingly been a virtue until the decision was announced, Catterall immediately heading for the dressing room when the verdict was read out.
He had landed a good early left hand which set the tone for a positive start from the huge underdog with the bookies.
Having got the better of a cagey opening round his confident start continued into the second, a lively end seeing both men warned by referee Marcus McDonnell for a scrappy period that ended with the visitor nearly lifting the champion off his feet.
There was noticeably more urgency from Taylor in round three but the smoother work continued to come from the Lancastrian, one eye-catching uppercut particularly making Taylor take a step back.
The 2,000 fans who had travelled up from Chorley were getting more vocal as Catterall was again on the front foot in the fourth, the 28-year-old confident enough to start putting real combinations together.
While Catterall was in his rhythm, Taylor was visibly struggling to get any momentum through five rounds, the once raucous Glasgow crowd at the Hydro now firmly silenced with it hard to argue their man had won any of the sessions at that point.
‘El Gato’ found his target with another big left hand in the sixth as he continued to box supremely, completing a phenomenal first half of the fight.
The seventh round was an all-together scrappier affair, Taylor trying to impose himself physically to find a way back into the fight.
But the Scot’s task seemingly got a whole lot harder in the eighth when Catterall’s supreme timing saw him floor the champion with a left hand that was on target all night.
Taylor got up but was left with an increasing mountain to climb on the scorecards and needing a knockout. Or so we thought.
Read the riot act by his corner, he flew out of the blocks for the ninth but Catterall was again able to slow the pace down to his liking, both men getting another ticking off from man in the middle McDonnell for holding.
It led to Catterall then harshly having a point deducted in the 10th as the clinches continued. After some calming words from Jamie Moore in between rounds, the Chorley star’s composure was back in the 11th with Taylor having a point taken off himself at the end of the round.
Needing a knockout in the final three minutes, the ‘Tartan Tornado’ was expected to be just that in the 12th, but the storm didn’t come.
While almost everyone watching thought that would be significant and had seemingly confirmed the outcome, it had not, leading to heartbreak for Catterall.
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