Josh Taylor beat Jack Catterall on a split decision on Saturday to remain undisputed super-lightweight champion; the vast majority of ringside analysts scored the fight comfortably in challenger Catterall's favour
Tuesday 1 March 2022 16:27, UK
An immediate rematch between Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall at a catchweight could be 'a viable option', says promoter Ben Shalom.
The Scot clung onto his status as undisputed champion of the super-lightweight division via a highly controversial split decision on Saturday, despite being knocked down, cut and outworked by Catterall for long periods.
The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) is now investigating the scoring after Taylor received victory with scores of 113-112 from Victor Loughlin and 114-111 by Ian John-Lewis, while Howard Foster scored it 113-112 to Catterall.
Taylor initially ruled out a rematch but has since suggested he could be open to facing the Chorley fighter again, but only at the 147-pound welterweight limit, rather than the 140 for Saturday's bout.
"I think it's difficult. I know Jack would do anything for a rematch," said Shalom, who co-promoted Saturday's show with Top Rank.
"I think maybe it makes more sense at a catchweight, at 143, or 144, particularly if there's not going to be titles on the line.
"But yes they can fight again. I do think that is a route forward. Jack, there will be vacant world titles there for him, if Josh moves up and I'm sure he'll get his opportunity again.
"But let's not get away from the fact that Jack just fought for all four world titles, for a life-changing amount of money to come from it and opportunities to come from it. It happens [an undisputed world title fight] extremely rarely so rematch or not, Jack has just lost something that he's worked his entire life for.
"We're going to push the rematch. We think that is a viable option, but we think it should happen at a catchweight. At 143, 144, that allows Josh the extra weight he needs, but is also fair on Jack, because really he fights at 140 and should continue to do so."
In his statement on Monday, Taylor described abuse he had faced on social media in the aftermath of the fight as "disgusting", and Shalom agrees that criticism of the Scot is "completely uncalled for".
He said: "Boxing in general has to change, but what I must say as well, Josh Taylor is an exemplary sportsman and he's done so much for the sport. I think the abuse being laid on him and on his door is completely uncalled for.
"You cannot expect a boxer to say that he's lost a fight, particularly in the aftermath of it. He's a pound-for-pound great of the sport and he needs to be respected.
"I just want to encourage that we unite to improve the sport and not victimising or letting boxers be subjected to this."
The BBBoC on Monday announced the launch of their investigation into the bout's scoring, and Shalom says Boxxer will put forward proposals as to how the system can be more "transparent" in future.
"We have to wait and see what they say," Shalom said. "But we're already putting in plans, we're already putting in proposals for perhaps how this can be different.
"This is a sport that is now watched by millions of people. It needs to be transparent, it needs to be objective, it needs to be clear what's going on. You cannot have three quarters, four fifths of the audience not knowing how the fight is being judged.
"Whether it needs to be open scoring, whether it needs to be a couple of guys in a truck, with the advantage of screens. You see it in other sports, but there's no sport except for boxing that means more when you win or lose. At this level, fighters can fight twice a year and so it's a huge, huge moment when a decision goes against them. We're going to do everything we can."
Sky Sports head of boxing development, Adam Smith, says that both fighters are hurting "in different ways" following the fight.
"It left a bitter taste in the mouth afterwards. A huge amount of us at ringside felt Jack Catterall should have been crowned the undisputed super-lightweight champion," Smith told Sky Sports News on Monday.
"Ben Shalom and I feel very strongly about it. It's in the hands of the board now, so I think we allow them to do their job and we see where we are.
"Josh Taylor has said he's had a lot of bad abuse, and to his family, which is totally out of order. He's a brilliant fighter, as is Jack Catterall, who I know is heartbroken at the moment.
"So they're both really hurting from this in different ways."