Amidst the ongoing investigation surrounding the widely criticized outcome in the Josh Taylor-Jack Catterall junior welterweight championship fight is the question of why two of the judges were there at all.

The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) announced its plans to look into the scoring following Scotland’s Taylor claiming a highly questionable split decision win over England’s Catterall to defend his undisputed 140-pound championship on February 26 in Glasgow. Judge Howard Foster (113-112) ruled in favor of Catterall, while judges Victor Loughlin (113-112) and Ian John-Lewis (114-111) awarded the fight to Scotland’s Taylor (19-0, 13KOs), who retained his championship along with making the fourth defense of at least one title February 26 in Glasgow.

“We’re dealing with that next week,” Robert Smith, general secretary of the BBBoC recently told Sky Sports. “We’ve been very clear of that with everybody. We’re taking all the reports in.

“We got Ian John-Lewis coming into our hearing. Once we’ve done that, we will put out something on what’s happened. There’s nothing changed on that, I’ve been very clear from the beginning.” has learned that the WBO—who ordered the mandatory title fight—objected to the appointment of Loughlin and John-Lewis, neither of whom are WBO-certified. Representatives from the WBO did not return a message from seeking comment, though it has been learned that the objection was not only addressed with the BBBoC on January 26—one day after all were informed of the board's officials selection—but done so in the presence of all the sanctioning bodies involved in the fight.

Taylor presently holds the WBA/WBA/IBF/WBO titles, having obtained undisputed championship status following his twelve-round, unanimous decision win over Jose Ramirez last May 22 in Las Vegas.

There were not any concerns raised with Foster and referee Marcus McDonnell, both of whom have regularly attended the required WBO seminars and certification courses. McDonnell, however, was widely criticized for his inability to maintain order in the ring along with his separate point deductions for Catterall in round ten and Taylor after the bell to end the eleventh round.

A message left for the BBBoC regarding its decision to bypass the objection was not returned as this goes to publish.

All four officials hail from the United Kingdom. McDonnell resides in London, while Foster (Doncaster, Yorkshire) and John-Lewis (Gillingham, Kent) also hail from England. Loughlin is from Barrhead, Scotland and was working his seventh career fight involving Taylor—four as a referee and three as a judge.

Foster has twice before worked as a referee for fights involving Taylor, while Jonh-Lewis worked his fourth Taylor fight—two previous judging assignments and one as a referee. McDonnell worked as a referee and a judge in two previous Taylor fights.

McDonnell and Loughlin were the only two officials who’ve previously worked a fight involving Catterall (26-1, 13KOs), a 28-year-old southpaw from Chorley, Lancashire. McDonnell was the referee for a July 2015 fight featuring Catterall and a judge on four previous occasions. Loughlin was the referee for Catterall’s most recent fight prior to challenging for the title, which took place in November 2020 at the famed Church House in Westminster.

While fans—and even some in the media—are quick to chalk up any scoring dispute as a conspiracy, there so far lacks evidence of a smoking gun. For all of the criticism that came with the fight and the disbelief over Catterall—a considerable underdog heading into the fight with a regarded pound-for-pound entrant in Taylor—not getting the decision, all three judges remarkably agreed on ten of the twelve rounds.

Foster was the only judge who scored round twelve in favor of Catterall, which provided the margin of victory on his scorecard. John-Lewis was the dissenting judge in awarding round four to Taylor, which left the defending champion ahead 39-37 through four rounds on his scorecard.

Loughlin agreed with at least one other judge in every round.

All three judges scored round ten in favor of Taylor, a round where Catterall also lost a point for pushing down on the back of Taylor’s head. Taylor was also awarded round eleven on all three scorecards, though losing a point for aggressively slapping Catterall’s midsection after the bell as he was walking back to his corner.

Even with the point deduction in round eleven, Taylor had the win secured on the card of John-Lewis. The defending champion only trailed on John-Lewis’ scorecard after rounds one and eight, the latter where he suffered a knockdown which resulted in a 10-8 round in favor of Catterall. The fight was officially off the table after round eleven, with Taylor leading by two points on John-Lewis' card even after the point deduction.

Taylor swept the final four rounds on the cards of Loughlin and John-Lewis, though rounds eleven and twelve were close. There were also at least two other swing rounds in the fight, though judges encouraged to avoid 10-10 rounds on such occasions often results in disputed verdicts such as what came from Taylor-Catterall.

“I think the (three-judge) system is good at the moment. Maybe the scoring system is wrong,” Smith theorized. “We can look at that. Maybe 10-8 for a clear round, 10-9 for a close round, that’s something we’re going to be looking at. When we look at that, it’s going to be worldwide. It’s not easy. I’ve been criticized for being this or being that.

“Somebody come up with a good idea because I’ve yet to hear one.”  

Fielding an objection raised by the sanctioning body responsible for ordering the fight might have been a good start.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox