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Bob Arum calls for third fight between Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall to address what he considers a scorecard controversy

Bob Arum after Josh Taylor lost to Jack Catterall in their rematch. Photo credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

The long-standing rivalry between junior welterweights Jack Catterall 29-1 (13) and Josh Taylor 19-2 (13) can only be settled by a trilogy bout, according to one of the boxer’s promotors.

The first fight between the pair in February 2022 went to the cards, with then-undisputed 140-pound champion Taylor, 33, of Scotland retaining his titles by split decision with scores of 113-112, 114-111 and 112-113. Many fans and pundits felt Britain’s Catterall, 31, deserved the nod in that fight over his fellow southpaw.

It would take more than two years for the pair to share the ring again. When they met this past May, Catterall got the win via unanimous decision by scores of 117-111, 116-113 and 117-111. This time around, it’s Taylor’s team who are crying foul.

Taylor’s promoter Bob Arum wants a third fight between the bitter rivals to settle the score once and for all.

“Let me clarify. I was in Leeds for that fight. I watched that fight carefully. There were three possible ways to score the fight: 7-5 Catterall [in rounds], 7-5 Taylor, 6-6 even,” the Top Rank boss said to Sky Sports.

“The scorecards from these judges appointed by the British Board were just so out of line that they were unacceptable. Now I don’t think there was any kind of funny business going on or anything like that.”

Arum added that even Eddie Hearn, the promoter of Catterall, thought the fight was much closer than the scorecards suggested.

“I was really teed off because Taylor is my fighter, we promote him,” Arum said. “But it wasn’t necessarily because I thought he clearly won the fight. I just thought it was a disservice to him that the scorecards were so wide.

“I was sitting next to Eddie Hearn, whose fighter was Catterall, and he was scoring the fight and we had it a very, very close fight.”

Matchroom Boxing head honcho Hearn told iFL TV at the time: “Bob’s 93, he doesn’t give a fuck. He doesn’t care what you think, I think, the millions watching around the world, he wanted to get on the mic and have a little spiel.

“Respect to him, he knows his boxing. I agree with him, but I don’t agree that Josh Taylor won the fight, I don’t think many people feel that. But I do feel like the scorecards were wide.”

Taylor has now lost two fights in a row to Catterall and Teofimo Lopez. Fans who thought he lost the first Catterall bout would have him at 0-3. It’s hard to see where he goes from here to get back in the world title mix apart from trilogy bout with Catterall.

That seems unlikely to take place this year with Catterall, who is ranked in the top three by the four major sanctioning bodies, booked for a fight against former WBC and WBA junior middleweight champion Regis Prograis on August 24. If successful, he will be looking for a shot at one of the four titleholders next.

Still, this hasn’t stopped Arum from petitioning for a third fight.

“Why not? They certainly fought their hearts out for 12 rounds and the crowd loved the fight,” Arum continued.

“Because the scorecards really created a controversy, I think a third fight would be in order. But let’s see how it plays out.”