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Jack Catterall got a semblance of revenge over Josh Taylor whose team cried outrage.

Jack Catterall admitted himself that Saturday night’s win over Josh Taylor inside the Leeds First Direct Arena was “bittersweet”. Bragging rights are one thing, but the empty spots where four super-lightweight world titles should have sat in his trophy cabinet will haunt the Chorley southpaw for the rest of his career. And we shouldn’t scoff at that. As much as we, as boxing fans, would love to see the end of alphabet titles, these trinkets are still the only tangible symbol of success for prizefighters. Kids don’t fantasize cashing in their fight purses at the bank or searching their names on BoxRec to see a big fat 0 in the Ls column, they are there, shoulders draped in gold, standing on the top rope celebrating in front of their city’s people.

But there were times on Saturday night when Catterall didn’t fight like the man scorned. Albeit in control of the rematch with his domestic foe Taylor, Catterall seemed hard-wired to win rounds as narrowly as needed, putting his faith, once again, in the three judges that cut him so deep just two years prior. Opportunities to step on the gas were met with reluctance by Catterall. He landed the heavier blows throughout the 36 minutes of combat, but when the openings were there, his drilled instincts to see the round out were favoured.

Scorecards of 117-111 twice and 116-113 were seen as outrageous by a select few inside the Josh Taylor business. Bob Arum, 92 years young, opined that it was one of the worst decisions that he has seen in the sport and stated he wouldn’t bring an American to British shores again. Heat of the moment stuff, sure, but all used to prod and poke Catterall once again in an “oh, I guess we are even” attempt at false equivalence. Taylor had some success in this fight but nowhere near enough to be given the victory. He’s probably at the level we expected him to be after observing his slide at the weight over the past two years, and a trilogy with Catterall at super-lightweight probably wouldn’t be advised.

For Catterall it’s a case of the winner staying on, and he’ll be eyeing that elusive world title opportunity at the back end of 2024. Puerto Rican IBF champion Subriel Matias, who fights Liam Paro next month, is also signed to Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom and could be an option for Catterall.

Elsewhere this weekend, Brits abroad lived up to their stereotypes of causing embarrassment or chaos inside three minutes of arriving. Lawrence Okolie helped himself to an all-inclusive buffet in Rzeszow, Poland, beating Lukasz Rozanski to the WBC bridgerweight title whereas Mark Heffron was Gone in Forty Seconds against Christian Mbilli in Shawinigan, Canada.

“This was the best moment in boxing for me so I’m super happy,” Okolie told Sky Sports post-fight. “New weight, putting the KO back in Okolie.” Lawrence Okolie seems au fait with burning bridges in his career, so it’ll be interesting how long he is willing to play ball with the WBC as he parades this make-believe title around the arse-end of Europe.

All eyes will be on this weekend’s 5 vs 5 event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia as those return flights continue to clock up for the sport. Excluding Dmitry Bivol’s run-out against Malik Zinad, there’s a solid argument to suggest that this is the most competitive and unpredictable set of five fights to fill a major card in some years. It’s a good concept, I guess?! But these fights should probably have been made without the X vs X promotional caveat.

If “Team Matchroom” are trailing by a couple of “points” when it comes to the final bout — I haven’t bothered researching how many “points” are on offer to each “team” — will there be instructions from Hearn to Wilder to throw everything into the last round of a fight he is winning just to get the KO and team victory? A very specific situation and a rhetorical question, but when you drill down into this concept I’m not convinced it needs to exist. Let the fights and fighters do the talking inside the ring and let’s stop attributing promoters to their success.

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