Jack Catterall had knocked down, cut and out-boxed Josh Taylor and looked set to complete a stunning upset - until the judges delivered their verdicts in favour of the Scottish champion
Sunday 27 February 2022 12:05, UK
Josh Taylor somehow kept his undisputed championship despite being knocked down and seemingly out-boxed by Jack Catterall in Glasgow in Scotland.
Taylor was shockingly handed a split decision win to retain his undefeated record, every title in the super-lightweight division and his hopes of future super-fights.
Audible gasps from ringside were heard, and Catterall angrily stormed backstage, at the baffling verdict in Taylor's favour.
Catterall landed the first big punch of the fight - a sharp left hand that drew a puzzled look from Taylor - but it was a sign of things to come.
Taylor was struggling to find his range while Catterall was landing his jabs, and even coping with the physicality of the taller and stronger champion.
In the third, Catterall landed a really slick uppercut which underlined his bright start.
Catterall twice landed significantly to the body in the fourth which Taylor, who has a notoriously difficult weight cut, felt.
He then thumped Taylor with a powerful left hand in the fifth round by which time the Scottish crowd sensed their man was in trouble.
Taylor was bleeding beneath his right eye before the halfway mark - when he stepped in, he was caught by Catterall's precise left hand again. Taylor shook his head in pure frustration.
Taylor plummeted to the canvas in the eighth round to the crowd's shock.
Catterall was deducted a point by the referee in the 10th round to galvanize Taylor's hopes.
But Taylor then had a point deducted for punching Catterall in the midriff after the conclusion to the 11th.
The judges scorecards were 113-112 (Catterall), 114-111 (Taylor), 113-112 (Taylor).
Sky Sports' Johnny Nelson said: "I am so surprised. I gave Taylor four rounds. That was it.
"I can't believe it and I feel so sorry for Catterall. It's decisions like this which turn casual fans off. Josh Taylor did not win that fight."