Josh Taylor v Jack Catterall: Chorley star may never get justice but there's so much for him and his fans to get excited about

Jack Catterall admitted as much a few days after the controversy in Glasgow.

By Adam Lord
Sunday, 13th March 2022, 4:55 am

“I don’t think there will be justice.”

So even with lawyers, the police, MPs and the rest involved, the likeable Chorley lad knows deep down nothing is going to compensate for not having his hand raised against Josh Taylor in Glasgow.

The British Boxing Board of Control have finished their ‘investigation’ with a frankly baffling statement which saw them downgrade Ian John-Lewis whose card was the worst of the bunch and helped hand the Scot a split decision victory.

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The board’s brief address stated “Mr John-Lewis’ scorecard did not affect the overall result of the contest”, which needs some explanation to say the least, before then insisting, in a wild contradiction, that Catterall should be made the mandatory challenger with the WBC, IBF, WBO and WBA when Taylor vacates his titles.

No, I’m not following either.

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Listen, there’s no need to dissect events at the Hydro again, if you’re reading this you know the score, or at least what it should have been after a career-making performance from Catterall.

Jack Catterall should get used to having his name up in lights

One thing stuck out in my mind in the immediate aftermath, however, and that was the admirable post-fight interview from Catterall’s trainer Jamie Moore.

Firstly, Salford’s finest did very well not to swear live on Sky Sports and then got right to the heart of the issue by referencing his son, who had been ringside watching his dad go to work in the corner.

“My son’s 16 and just getting into boxing but he’ll be looking at that thinking ‘why should I get into boxing’,” Moore said struggling to contain his emotions.

“You work all your life for that moment, to be a world champion, and it’s snatched away from you.”

Catterall regularly found his mark on the big stage against Josh Taylor

It was those words that left me thinking, ‘what if Jack Catterall walks away, wondering why he bothered?’. To me, that would seem a reasonable way for a wronged mind to wander.

The 28-year-old had worked his whole life for that moment, that night, only to have it snatched away from him despite putting everything he had learnt in the ring over 18 years into those 12 rounds.

I was lucky enough to speak to Catterall five days on from the fight, having previously followed less high-profile parts of his career that included one victory that took just 132 seconds at Preston Guild Hall back in 2018.

The conversation turned to any thoughts of walking away, hanging up the gloves, however you want to phrase it.

Catterall, pictured after victory over Martin Gethin nearly five years ago, has come up the hard way

I hoped it would be rubbished, and thankfully it largely was, even if Catterall admitted there had been some dark moments since storming from the ring north of the border.

“It’s been a whirlwind of emotion. I would be lying if I said those emotions didn’t go through my head,” he admitted.

“To dedicate everything, sacrifice everything, to something you are passionate about for the people who don’t get in the ring and don’t take punches to rip it away from you is so disappointing and disheartening.

“It’s bigger than that though. It’s showing the next generation of fighters that we get knocks, sometimes we can’t control things but we don’t let it defeat us, we’ve got to keep marching on.

“I’m passionate about boxing, I’ve done it for 18 years, and I believe that fight was the start of the next stage of my career.

“I’d be a fool to let it run me out of boxing. I’m here to stay and I’m here to stay for a while.

“I can only control my variables and I’m getting better and better, and I will be back.

“My profile has shot up and with that will come more opportunities that I intend to grab with “both hands. I can’t wait to get busy.”

As the dust settles more and more people are seeing those positives, and as difficult as it might be, trying to focus on them.

Amid the robbery, and that’s what it was, Catterall’s profile has gone through the roof. Yes, it’s completely understandable that he’s instructed a lawyer to look at potential lost earnings, but fight wise the world should now very much be his oyster.

In a sporting sense, those around him know how good Catterall is and can be having waited and waited for his chance on the biggest of stages. Now, the whole boxing world does and his name has been planted in the wider sports fan’s consciousness too.

Here’s hoping too that his case, arguably the most high-profile scorecard disgrace boxing has seen, instigates change in a sport that needs to do something before fans turn off in their droves.

What that looks like - five judges, a change in the scoring system, the use of video technology - looks set to be the source of much debate for some time to come.

As for Catterall, the down-to-earth lad who is an ambassador for Derian House Children’s Hospice and cares deeply about his community, he hasn’t changed through all the headlines of the last couple of weeks.

“I wouldn’t like to finish on that note,” he concludes our interview by saying.

“I’m only 28. I believe I’ve got a few years left in it and I want to make the most of it.”

Then comes the wry smile.

“I’m not good at much else, I can certainly fight, so I’m going to carry on doing that,” he adds.

And his ever-growing fanbase can’t wait for the big nights ahead.