Saturday, December 3, 2022

Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall: Todd DuBoef dismisses talk of scoring conspiracy

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Top Rank president Todd DuBoef has dismissed any talk of conspiracy surrounding the scoring of the controversial championship fight between Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall on Saturday night.

Taylor won a split decision in his Scotland homecoming, despite being knocked down, cut and out-boxed for long periods by Catterall.

Speaking to Sky Sports, DuBoef said the controversy was an opportunity to modernise boxing and for greater education on how to score the sport.

“It was a terrific event; the energy in that arena was amazing,” DuBoef said. “It was a close fight and a very difficult fight to score.

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Highlights of Taylor’s controversial points victory over Catterall

“I really believe that what we need to do is to modernise boxing. We haven’t moved forward.

“The fact we have subjective scoring means we have to get better. We have to apply further education courses – we need to know that everybody is taught the same way on how to score a round.

“We have to notify both camps on what is expected from you, from the judges on this night in the UK – which could vary if you were taught in New York, or California or Australia.

“But any implications of chicanery, I dismiss them.”

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Taylor somehow held on to all his light-welterweight belts after clinching a controversial split decision victory over Catterall

DuBoef added: “I think there has to be clarity. I have been at fights on one side of the ring and somebody on the other side of the ring has seen a totally different fight.

“It doesn’t mean there was something wrong or someone was incompetent. But if a guy has his back to you all night and the other is coming forward, that sends a message to you. You have to take that into consideration when scoring a round.

“Boxing is subjective. It is not the ball hitting the back of the net in football and so a goal is scored.

“When you’re talking about minor, minor wins in each second of each minute of every round, it really means a lot. We all have to be in sync.”

As for the potential for a rematch between the pair, DuBoef believes it will be dependent on what weight Taylor wishes to fight at and what he sees as the best next move for his career.

“In the post-match press conference we had, he was very defiant, I thought a little defensive,” DuBoef said of Taylor. “I said before the fight he looked really drained at the weight.

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Despite triumphing in controversial circumstances, Taylor was confident he did enough to beat Catterall

“I think he has to sit down with his team and discuss ‘how tough was it? how out of shape was I? did I balloon up too much in weight? should I stay more fit?’.

“All of these things have to be determined by himself and his team. Any reaction now is premature – it has to be digested by everybody.

“We’ll sit tight and wait to hear what his direction is and what they feel is the best thing. Obviously when there are close decisions, there is always an outcry for a rematch.

“It may not happen now, it could happen in two fights, in a year, or it could happen next. Let’s just let it play out naturally.”

‘Whyte has a big incentive to show up… he wants the crown’

DuBoef also spoke on Dillian Whyte’s no-show at Tuesday’s ticket launch event ahead of his WBC heavyweight title fight with Tyson Fury.

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With Dillian Whyte absent and no head to head possible, Tyson Fury took the opportunity to stare down his poster instead

Whyte opted to remain at his training camp in Portugal as he prepares for the against Fury at Wembley on April 23 – live on BT Box Office – but DuBoef was unconcerned by Whyte’s absence.

“Somebody from the Whyte camp used the analogy that you need two hands to clap. With Tyson Fury, you just need Tyson Fury – you don’t need the other hand,” he said.

“We’re looking at an unprecedented response for tickets. The queue had over 140,000 today looking at tickets – I think we’re going to come out with some incredible, historic news.”

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Fury says he is planning to knock out Whyte in their heavyweight title clash at at Wembley on April 23

DuBoef added: “I’m disappointed in [Whyte] not taking forward in simple ceremonies that are so historic, and classy, for the sport.

“I understand that Dillian and his team may be a little disappointed on a number of issues. But this is the time the door opens, take your step through it, take advantage of it. This isn’t the end of your career, this should be the beginning and I wish he would have looked at it that way.

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Fury says Whyte’s decision not to appear at Tuesday’s launch of their heavyweight title clash has given him extra confidence

“We’ve got all of the assurances from him and his camp that they will be present come fight week. I think what we were trying to do was just get a little more participation than he was willing to offer.

“He has got a lot of money to earn for this. It’s the record purse bid for any fight in the history of boxing, so he has a big incentive to show up.

“Also, he wants the crown. This is what he has been talking about for years; this is the time to take it.”

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