The British boxing authorities have taken action against one of the judges of Josh Taylor’s world title defence, downgrading him after the controversial points decision that settled the fight.
Taylor put his WBA, WBO, WBC and IBF titles on the line against Jack Catterall at Glasgow’s Hydro last month and won the fight by split decision, though many onlookers and experts felt the Englishman should have been declared the clear winner.
The three judges all called the fight differently, with Howard Foster marking Catterall as winner by 113-112, Victor Loughlin awarding it to Taylor by the same score and Ian John-Lewis judging that Taylor was winner by 114-111.
The British Boxing Board of Control launched an internal investigation into the decision and have now downgraded John-Lewis after hearing his explanation of his scorecard.
The authorities did state that while they questioned the margin of the decision, that “did not alter the overall result of the contest”.
Catterall has been a vocal critic of the decision and maintains that he was robbed of the chance to become undisputed world champion.
Taylor, who plans to vacate his belts and move up to welterweight, says Catterall fought well but did not do enough to win the fight.
The BBBoC have said that they will now write to the WBC, WBA WBO and IBF to support Catterall as mandatory challenger.
Their statement read: “Following an internal review of the scoring of the Josh Taylor v Jack Catterall contest by all three appointed judges, the stewards of the board decided to call Mr Ian John-Lewis to appear before them to explain his returned card.
“Having considered Mr John-Lewis’ explanation, the stewards of the board decided to downgrade Mr John-Lewis from an AStar Class to an A Class Official.
“Whilst the board were satisfied that Mr John-Lewis’ scorecard did not affect the overall result of the contest, the stewards of the board did have issue with his margin.
“As the regulatory body for the sport in Great Britain, the BBBoC continue to improve and maintain the high quality and consistency in scoring by our licensed officials.
“As such, the stewards of the board have further decided that in addition to each A Star Class official being evaluated after each bout, as per current procedure, they will now also be subject to a separate individual annual review.
“Finally the British Boxing Board of Control have contacted the WBO, WBC, IBF and WBA supporting Jack Catterall to be made mandatory challenger for each or all Championship Sanctioning Bodies.”