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"Let me tell you something you already know,” reflects Rocky Balboa back to his son in the 2006 cinematic release by the same title. “The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.” And unfortunately, this is exactly the reality junior welterweight challenger Jack Catterall faced Saturday night after his failed bid to capture championship gold against divisional ace Josh Taylor.

“Well, Taylor did get past Catterall on Saturday in Glasgow, Scotland, but just barely and by split decision,” writes ESPN’s Mike Coppinger and Nick Parsons in their February 26, 2022 article titled, “Josh Taylor wins but fails to shine; what now and what’s the future of the 140-pound division?” According to the report, “The general sentiment on social media was that Taylor received a hometown decision. One judge scored it for Catterall 113-112 but was outweighed by 114-111 and 113-112 tallies in Taylor's favor.” A hometown decision is one way to put it, but as we will soon find out there are numerous other ways to characterize the events which took place this past weekend.

“Catterall won. PERIOD. Let’s get it right #boxingjudges,” writes Boxing Hall of Famer Lou DiBella in a February 26, 2022 Twitter social media post. In a follow reply, DiBella went on to state, “That was an abomination. How fucking awful…even in #boxing. Gutted for Jack who had the night of his career. [I] feel sick.” Indeed, the outrage on Twitter social media alone from both fans and pundits alike was swift and severe. “It’s difficult to put into words. I don’t know… how you feel,” explained Catterall’s trainer Jamie Moore during a Sky Sports Boxing interview immediately following the fight.

“You’re talking about a kid who’s worked all his life to wait for that moment. Who stepped aside, who’s waited three years for his opportunity,” explained a frustrated Moore. “Who steps aside, doing the right thing for boxing; steps aside to allow a unified champion on the promise that he would get his opportunity. He gets the opportunity; he performs like that and beats the champion in his own backyard and gets absolutely robbed."

Robbed, an abomination and hometown decision are just a few terms being tossed around to describe the judge’s decision Saturday night in Glasgow. Terms which ultimately denote impropriety of some kind, though falling just short of calling a spade a spade in insulting the readers intelligence. We’re talking about fixed fights, corruption on an epic scale, which has ran virtually unchecked for decades as the racketeers in combat sports run roughshod over the sport and the general public’s good sense.

“Boxing authorities will launch an inquest following Josh Taylor’s controversial defense of his undisputed super lightweight title over Jack Catterall,” writes Telegraph Sport’s Gareth A. Davies in his February 27, 2022 article titled, “British Boxing Board of Control to investigate Josh Taylor’s controversial win over Jack Catterall.”

According to the report, “The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) told Telegraph Sport that they plan to probe the split points decision, although general secretary Robert Smith went on to insist that allegations of corruption from the judges were “nonsense.” A curious way to lead off an investigation to say the least, the investigators from the BBBofC have publicly reached a conclusion before the inquiry even officially begins. Obviously leaving a lot to be desired with the validity of the inquest as fans grow increasingly frustrated with the questionable integrity of boxing.

“Is it corruption or incompetence,” asks retired professional boxer and fight analyst Paul Smith Jr. in a Twitter social media post. A question steadfast fans across the globe have been left asking themselves for years, incompetence is almost always the avenue pursued by sportswriters who lack the backbone to explore the seedier side of town where corruption is the obvious answer. “Either way, Ian John Lewis should not and cannot be scoring fights anymore,” Smith continued. “[He’s] proven time and time again to not be able to do it and no one can say a word about it or him for fear of retribution from the boxing board of control. It is wrong!”

For those paying attention and able to put the pieces together, we’ve got a perennial problem child in British boxing judge Ian John Lewis who has continuously rendered questionable scorecards for years while being protected by the British Boxing Board of Control. With the situation being akin to the fox guarding the hen house, the authorities tasked with ensuring the integrity of boxing obviously cannot be counted on to follow the scientific method or anything else even remotely resembling a legitimate investigation. Highlighting exactly how deep the cancer runs through the veins of combat sports, at this point we may very well need an exorcist to save boxing.

“Emotions are high, but the problem needs fixed at source,” writes Ring Magazine Managing Editor Tom Gray on Twitter social media. “The BBBofC needs to be held accountable and, unlike what's happened many times before, boxing shouldn't be allowed to just move on until another controversy quells this one.” With the need for the regularity bodies to be held accountable as corruption runs rampant throughout the sport, one would think raising public awareness about the situation would be of paramount importance to the sports premiere news outlet.

But according to Gray, when questioned on the combat sports media’s unwillingness to tackle the issue of corruption in boxing, “A 100 years of Ring Magazine history. 100s of controversial decisions. And we've to overrule an official verdict and hand over a championship? That's not going to have a knock on effect? It's a commission/ board problem, NOT a Ring Magazine problem.”

Though, according to a June, 2012 article titled, “Sports journalists and corruption: between unintended and willful blindness,” Dr. Dino Numerato of Bocconi University writes that, “Journalists are significant interpreters of the world of sport. This means that they not only transmit the passion, spontaneity and pleasure of contemporary sports, but that they can also challenge the traditional principles of fair play by enhancing corruption.” According to the report, “The recent increase of corruption in contemporary sports has been partially attributed to the symbiotic relationship between the realm of sport, the mass media, business and advertisement industry.”

Interestingly, Numerato goes on to explain how journalists can be both direct and indirect participants in corruption. According to the report, some of the ways in which this is accomplished include selectively reporting on information and receiving kickbacks and bribes from third party sources. “It is worth noting,” explains Dr. Numerato, “that sports corruption is not linked only to sports performance of athletes or referees, but also to sports politics.  In other words, sports corruption may be related to the decisions that are made in the corridors of sport governing bodies in relation to mega sports-events bids, acquisition of broadcasting rights and decisions about contracts with sponsors.”

It is often said that the first step to recovery is first admitting that you have a problem, but with the media unwilling to raise public awareness about the corruption in combat sports and the regulatory bodies themselves suspected of impropriety nothing short of a federal investigation and the establishment of national commission will be able to exorcise the demons possessing boxing. And as long as the public stays in the dark about the seriousness of the situation, the circular nature of what it will take to clean up the sport becomes increasingly clear. “Let me tell you something you already know, the world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place,” which is why if you don’t fight for Jack Catterall and the integrity of boxing then nobody will.