In this week’s Fight Talk, we look back at a controversial night in Glasgow as Josh Taylor claimed a shocking split-decision win over Jack Catterall.
We also look at Lawrence Okolie’s successful defence of his WBO cruiserweight title against Michal Cieslak at The O2 arena on Sunday, plus Andre Ward and Gennady Golovkin get caught up in a Twitter war-of-words.
Taylor controversially retains undisputed belts
To put it simply, Saturday was a pretty bad night for boxing.
Scotland’s Taylor was handed a split-decision win over Catterall to retain his undefeated record and every title in the light-welterweight division.
There were audible gasps and dropped jaws at the OVO Hydro when the split decision was announced.
The boxing world reacted with shock too, while Boxxer promoter Ben Shalom demanded an immediate investigation.
Carl Frampton who was part of the commentary team for BBC Radio 5 Live in Glasgow said the decision was clearly wrong.
Dillian Whyte, who is preparing for his WBC heavyweight challenge against Tyson Fury in April, was short and concise in his assessment.
London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Luke Campbell was stunned.
Legendary boxer Carl Froch questioned Catterall’s decision to slow down in the championship rounds but says the Chorley man deserved the win.
Former cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew said the judges must answer for themselves.
Regis Prograis, who narrowly lost to Taylor in 2019, said Catterall should be the undisputed champion.
Former Liverpool, Manchester United and England footballer Michael Owen called the decision a disgrace.
Footballer turned podcaster extraordinaire Peter Crouch also had Catterall winning the fight.
And Brighton defender Shane Duffy was another left incredulous.
‘The uncrowned king’
Despite the loss, Catterall thanked the people who have supported him and claimed he was the uncrowned king.
So what now?
Taylor spoke with BBC Radio 5 Live following the fight and insisted he was the winner. The undefeated Scot went on to say his days in the 140lb division were over and that he would look to move up a weight class.
He took a few days to reflect and then congratulated Catterall for his performance, but the ‘Tartan Tornado’ is still adamant he won the fight. He also says he welcomes a rematch, on the condition it takes place welterweight.
Taylor’s weight cut for this fight was well documented as a potential problem for the undisputed champion but the controversial decision will lead to calls for him to face Catterall again, while the British Boxing Board of Control has confirmed it will investigate the scoring.
With the level of controversy surrounding the fight on Saturday, a rematch is likely to captivate even the most casual boxing fan.
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Okolie accompanied by fighting royalty
Following a sensational walk-out with UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and former world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, Lawrence Okolie claimed a points win over Poland’s Michal Cieslak in London on Sunday.
Okolie’s victory was straightforward enough despite the bout being scrappy, with constant grappling and holding throughout.
Former WBC light-middleweight champion Sergio Mora was not impressed.
But boxing manager Sam Jones says the criticism is unfair and has backed Okolie to keep pushing forward.
The next order of business for Okolie may be a unification bout with Latvia’s IBF and Ring Magazine champion Mairis Briedis.
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GGG and Ward trade blows on social media
Kazakhstan’s Gennady Golovkin and American former super-middleweight star Andre Ward engaged in a battle of words on social media this past week.
It all started when Ward took part in a question-and-answer session on Twitter and was asked by a fan whether there were any fights he wished he’d taken before retiring as an unbeaten Hall of Famer.
Ward replied: “[Carl] Froch, rematch in the UK; Golovkin, he turned it down in less than 5min.”
Golovkin did not hold back in his response.
Ward then shared a video in which he suggested Golovkin refused to fight the American.
Golovkin’s manager Tom Loeffler then defended his client and accused Ward of being jealous of his success.
As you might expect, Briton Froch – never one to shy away from a confrontation – had his say.