THE British Boxing Board of Control has downgraded one of the judges of the controversial Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall fight.
Catterall lost a contentious split points verdict. Ian John-Lewis and Victor Loughlin both scored for Taylor. The latter had it 113-112 for the champion but it was John-Lewis’ 114-111 card that has been singled out. He has now been downgraded.
“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,” the Board said in a statement. “Having considered Mr. Ian John-Lewis’ explanation, the Stewards of the Board decided to downgrade Mr. John-Lewis from an A Star Class to an A Class Official.”
The Board has made a more general change as well. They will now bring in annual reviews, as well as bout by bout reviews, for their A Star Class officials, saying: “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.”
Scrutiny and a willingness to downgrade under-performing officials is welcome. But where their ruling creates confusion is claiming that “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”. So they consider a Taylor win acceptable, but that scorecard too wide, and yet they have still recommended that sanctioning bodies, the WBO, WBC, IBF and WBA make Catterall the mandatory challenger for all of their belts.
It is a step towards addressing the judging of that contest but it will not settle the issue. Catterall has already issued a simple statement himself: “Not good enough.”