JOSH TAYLOR himself pointed out that Jack Catterall was getting a straight shot at everything he had worked so hard to achieve – the world super-lightweight championship, the four sanctioning body belts, Taylor’s position as one of the UK’s star fighters. Perhaps that wasn’t fair. Afterall it was Taylor who had to go round the world and clear out the best in the division to establish himself as the 140lbs champion. All the while Catterall could sit back and bide his time. The challenger from Chorley did only get this one chance, the opportunity to take it all, but he took it masterfully… At least that’s how it looked from ringside. Two of the judges however disagreed. Two of the judges scored for Taylor and that was enough for the champion to keep his crown and for Catterall to be denied a triumph he deserved.

It’s hard to see how Ian John Lewis and Victor Loughlin came to their scores of 114-111 and 113-112 for the champion. Howard Foster had it 113-112 for Catterall.

Taylor had been welcomed back to Scotland to a deafening roar from the crowd at the Hydro arena in Glasgow on Saturday, a tremendous reception. Yet he began the fight more nervily then expected, pushing forward after his challenger forcing out right jabs. Taylor applied pressure and Catterall did clinch and hold, roughing up the champion. The collisions up close ultimately left Taylor bleeding from cuts round his right eye. But Catterall was also content to move off, pick out jabs and land an excellent countering left cross. Those shots would hit with force. Catterall continued to settle, looking for his counters and building up a lead.

Gradually Taylor was feeling the power in Catterall’s punches and the Englishman made a breakthrough in the eighth round. A blazing combination streaked through, the left catching Taylor’s chin and dropping him to his knees.

From then on Taylor had to chase him desperately, trying to make something happen for him. But he couldn’t get into a rhythm and despite leading with some meaty right hooks couldn’t find the breakthrough he needed. The referee Marcus McDonnell would take a point off both fighters, from Catterall for holding and from Taylor for hitting after the bell.

It looked like Taylor needed a knockout to win and he attacked vigorously in the last round. But Catterall still had enough wherewithal to fire back and ultimately was not shaken.

Not that it is until the verdict from the judges came in. The split decision against him was harsh, it was unfair. But that decision now is final.