Jack Catterall beats Josh Taylor by unanimous decision in rematch

Jack Catterall comes out victorious in close fight vs. Josh Taylor (2:17)

Jack Catterall goes wire-to-wire with Josh Taylor in a close 12-round fight and comes out victorious via unanimous decision. (2:17)

LEEDS, England -- Jack Catterall got the revenge he has craved for so long, beating Josh Taylor by unanimous decision in their junior welterweight rematch in Leeds on Saturday night.

After losing the first fight in controversial fashion in February 2022 in Scotland, Catterall came out on top, although the result again split opinions.

The fight certainly lived up to expectations, and fans were treated to 12 rounds of nonstop action as a reward for the two-year wait between the original and the rematch.

It was Catterall, though, who was rewarded on the scorecards, with two of the judges scoring it 117-111 and one 116-113.

"Listen, I believe I won the fight," Catterall said in the ring afterward. "I took more risks this time. Josh is an elite operator, undisputed world champion. We knew we was up against it, but I felt like I went through the gears.

"I box smart, and even in the second half of the fight, rounds that I was more reserved, I was controlling the pace, and I wasn't getting hit with big punches and I was landing clean.

"It was a fight of two halves, but I still believe the second half of the fight, the rounds that I won, I won clearly."

However, while the judges saw it as conclusive, controversy again swirled around the ring in the aftermath of the fight. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum slammed the cards as a "disgrace," while Matchroom's Eddie Hearn also conceded he thought the scores were wide.

"I saw the fight like everybody else, those scorecards were a disgrace," Arum said. "I really feel sorry for Josh. I thought he won the fight, I would never ever allow an American fighter to come here with a British board scoring the fight. Those scores were ridiculous."

Taylor, too, said he thought he had won, and hinted that the controversy of the first outing could have played on the judges minds.

"Listen, I thought it was a great fight, fair play to Jack," Taylor said. "He boxed a better fight tonight. It was a better fight than the first fight. It was great. But listen, I thought I'd just nicked it.

"It was a close fight. But given the controversy in the first fight, I think that's probably played into the judge's hands."

Catterall had the better of the opening exchanges, seeing out the first two rounds in calm fashion, but Taylor looked much sharper than he did two years ago in Glasgow.

Taylor wore a head clash in the opening seconds of the third, but it didn't seem to affect him as he came roaring back, rocking Catterall at one stage as the intensity and atmosphere ramped up.

As he did in the first fight, Catterall used his jab excellently, peppering Taylor every time he came forward and coming up with some fantastic combinations. He looked to be getting on top, but the Scot wouldn't give up, landing his own fair share of blows.

Neither man took a step back in the gripping encounter. Every time a shot was taken, instead of taking time to recover, they simply looked into the eyes of their rival and took a step forward.

Taylor found a second wind and landed the better shots in Rounds 8 and 9, using both raw brutality and his excellent skill to shift the momentum.

However, Catterall wouldn't be beaten. He dominated the 11th round, forcing Taylor to lean back on the ropes, and saw out the final round to see out the fight and collect the victory he longed for.