Trainer Joe McNally cut a frustrated figure post-fight following Josh Taylor’s defeat to Jack Catterall (29-1, 13KOs) in an entertaining rematch. The fight between the Anglo-Scottish rivals ebbed and flowed, with both fighters having successes at the First Direct Arena, Leeds. 

Ultimately, the fight went to the judge’s scorecards, with Catterall awarded a unanimous decision. Judges Mark Bates and Jack McGann issued two score totals of 117-111 alongside a score of 116-113 on Lee Every’s scorecard. 

The judges’ total scores provoked Taylor’s promoter, Bob Arum, into a tirade against the British Boxing Board of Control and he promised not to send any more American fighters to the U.K. to fight under the Board’s stewardship. 

McNally shared similar sentiments regarding the judge’s performance post-fight, believing that Taylor, 19-2 (13 KOs), had done enough.

However, the Liverpudlian trainer praised Catterall for his performance and felt the rematch surpassed the pair’s initial 2022 contest.

“I thought it was a Josh Taylor win, but it was a very good fight,” McNally told IFL TV. “I thought Jack Catterall fought a fantastic fight, but so did Josh Taylor. 

“The ebb and flow of how I wanted Josh to perform all week happened tonight. It was completely chalk and cheese to the first fight with a magnificent performance. I thought Jack Catterall upped his game, and I certainly thought Josh Taylor performed way better than the first fight.”

A visibly frustrated McNally took aim at the judges, believing that if the fight had taken place anywhere other than Leeds, Taylor would have seen his arm raised.

“I had Josh by a couple of rounds, and the CompuBox stats tell the story. Josh out jabbed him, and Josh out-landed him with the power punches by something like 40 per cent,” McNally added.

“I think if this fight was anywhere but here, then Josh Taylor wins the fight.”

The trainer had warned the former undisputed champion Taylor as he headed towards the championship rounds not to leave things too close on the scorecards.

“I thought it was a fucking joke,” McNally said of the scores. “I told him [Taylor] in the 10th, 11th and 12th, ‘Don’t leave this too close because it’s close and finish these rounds like a champion.’ “I thought he won the 10th and was winning the 11th until he got hit with the left hand, but finished strong in the 12th.”

The trainer had previously expressed concerns about the officials appointed but had been assured by the Board of their competence and abilities.

Despite his concerns regarding referee Kevin Parker, McNally praised Parker’s performance but maintained his belief that Taylor had done more than enough. 

“As soon as they mentioned the 117-111 cards, the first thing I thought was that we have three English judges, and here we go,” said McNally. 

“I vented my frustrations at the referee, Kevin Parker, but he was brilliant tonight. Josh was the away fighter tonight, and if Jack had been given it 114-113, then kudos to him, fair enough, and vice versa if Josh nicked it by one or two rounds, which I had it by. 

“Maybe I’m being biased, but 117-111, come on.”