Josh Taylor says he has rewatched his fight with Jack Catterall and still believes he was the winner despite widespread criticism of the split decision.
Taylor retained his undisputed champion status of the super-lightweight division via a split decision in his Scotland homecoming on Saturday, despite being knocked down, cut and out-boxed for long periods.
The decision was a major shock to the large majority of ringside analysts, with the entire Sky Sports team in agreement Catterall had done enough to become world champion.
But Taylor released a statement on social media on Monday reiterating his belief that he won the fight and confirming he will be stepping up to welterweight.
He wrote on Instagram: “I have taken a few days for some well-earnt time with my family after not seeing them for a few months. I’ve had a chance to watch the fight back. First and foremost, I want to congratulate Jack Catterall on a great fight. He rose to the occasion and fought a valiant fight. However, I believe I won a very close fight.
“Many fans believe Jack deserved the decision, and that’s fine. We both went in there and fought our guts out for 12 rounds… but the personal attacks on myself and especially my family are disgusting and uncalled for.
“My days at 140 are numbered. My future is at welterweight. Jack Catterall deserves another title shot, and as soon as possible. I’ve never ducked a challenge in my career, and I’d be happy to fight Jack again, but it would have to be at welterweight. Jack is a great sportsman, a helluva fighter, and deserves every bit of the admiration he’s been receiving.
“I want to thank my family, my team, the fans who packed The OVO Hydro, and everyone who watched on Sky Sports, ESPN+, and around the world.
“Fighting as the undisputed champion on Scottish soil was a dream come true, but I’m only getting started. I’ll be back and better than ever, this time ready to conquer the welterweight division.”
Catterall: Hearbroken by decision
Catterall, who was described as “heartbroken” by his team, did not speak to the media after the fight, but wrote on social media on Sunday he had his “dreams stolen”.
Catterall’s trainer Jamie Moore said he is considering quitting the sport over the treatment of his fighter, who had previously stepped aside to allow Taylor to unify the division.
Sky Sports duo Johnny Nelson and Natasha Jonas, who were both at ringside for the fight, were highly critical of the decision.
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.”
Jonas added: “I love and respect Josh but it wasn’t his night.”
Shalom ’embarrassed’ by scoring
Promoter Ben Shalom told Sky Sports immediately after the fight he was “embarrassed” by the outcome.
Shalom, the founder and chief executive of Boxxer, who promoted a stunning trio of shows on Sky Sports in February, was particularly astounded by the 114-111 scorecard in Taylor’s favour.
“I am actually embarrassed because I’m promoting this event, and I couldn’t see how[(it was scored that way],” Shalom said. “It’s embarrassing.
“I love this sport, that’s why I got into it, and we’ve tried to keep our integrity and we try to keep everything true to the sport that we love, but tonight is really difficult.
“We’ve had three great shows – Eubank Jr-Williams, Khan-Brook and Taylor-Catterall, which was actually the best fight of them all, but that’s heart-breaking for Jack and I’m embarrassed.”