There was a big upset on Saturday night in Glasgow.
After years standing on the sidelines, waiting patiently for his chance to compete on the boxing world stage, Jack Catterall finally had his moment. Consistently overlooked and underestimated, the chance to fight World Champion Josh Taylor was finally here.
The winner would walk away with all four championship belts! A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
If he could somehow sneak a victory, against all the odds, Jack Catterrall, would finally fulfill his childhood dream and become the undisputed light welterweight champion of the world.
Catterrall, the challenger, entered the ring, seemingly without a hope of winning. But he had a plan. And he and his coach knew that if he executed it correctly, it would work.
He had studied every aspect of Taylor’s style and made a plan to smother every element of his attack.
And it paid off. From the first round, Catterrall dominated.
Seeing the champion crumble in front of thousands and thousands of his home fans, was uncomfortable to watch at times. There were moments where the Glaswegian looked like he would much rather be at home watching TV instead.
After twelve gruelling rounds, to me, and everyone watching all around the world, it seemed that Jack had done it.
An epic victory. A lifelong dream. All those belts! Reward and recognition. Finally.
Except, the judges didn’t agree.
And they gave the win to Josh Taylor.
And that’s the thing with boxing. Unless you knock someone out, the results go to the judges’ scorecards. It’s completely subjective.
Judges are humans. They make mistakes. They’re biased. They’re sometimes corrupt.
Or maybe they forgot their glasses?
Needless to say, social media has gone into meltdown and Jack Catterrall is utterly devastated.
He said: ‘You know what hurts the most, it wasn’t for me I done all of this for my family my team my town and country. My baby girl and misses, our future… Today I should of been waking up with all of the belts. 15 months out the ring, they all wrote me off… F***** me in every way possible for over two years, finally got the fight. Sacrificed everything to fight one of the top p4p (pound for pound) ranked fighters, gave him a lesson. For what. Boxing shame on you… Dreams stolen.”
And that’s why I’m sharing this story with you. I can’t stop thinking about what happened. I feel terrible for Catterrall and his smashed up hopes and dreams.
It struck me that when we look outside ourselves for validation, and we rely on the opinions of others to make us feel good, it leaves us vulnerable.
You never know how other people are going to react or feel. They have their own agendas and preferences and emotions. We can’t control them.
We can only control ourselves. And our performance. And our emotions.
When we feel shy, we often feel judged. It’s like we’ve given control to a panel of judges with scorecards, sitting by the edge of the ring, appraising our every move.
When, in reality, the only person we need to impress is ourselves.
There’s a famous boxing quote. “It’s you vs you”
The only one you’re competing against is your own expectations of yourself. The only opinion that matters is yours.
I hope Jack finds a way to come back from this. After all, he was amazing! And he knows it.
And, maybe, as a result of this moment, there actually will be an inquiry that changes the way boxing is judged forever.