By Dan Ambrose: Unified light-welterweight champion Josh Taylor has vacated his WBC 140-lb belt, and World Boxing Council has quickly ordered #1 Jose Zepeda and #2 Jose Ramirez to battle for the vacant strap.
For the former undisputed 140-lb champion Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs), this is the second title belt he’s vacated, as he recently relinquished his WBA strap.
Taylor has not keen on defending all of the belts, as he’s planning on moving up to 147 soon to go after bigger & better things against the winner of the expected undisputed clash between champions Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford.
In the meantime, Taylor will now defend his IBF/WBO 140-lb belts against #3 WBO Jack Catterall (26-1, 13 KOs) in a rematch of their controversial fight earlier this year in February.
In that contest, Taylor beat Catterall by a questionable 12-round split decision at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland.
🚨 BREAKING: Josh Taylor vacates WBC Superlightweight Championship
Zepeda vs Ramirez is ordered for vacant title
The WBC has just received a letter from Josh Taylor attorney in which he confirms his decision to relinquish The WBC super lightweight championship. pic.twitter.com/pKF2ip1bzd
— World Boxing Council (@WBCBoxing) July 1, 2022
The scores were 114-113, 113-112 for Taylor, and 113-112 for Catterall. Many boxing fans viewed the results as a hometown decision win for the 31-year-old Scottish fighter Josh Taylor.
For U.S boxing fans, they’re going to be interested in seeing the rematch between the hard-hitting #1 WBC Jose Zepeda (36-2, 28 KOs) and #2 Jose Ramirez (27-1, 17 KOs).
Three years ago, Ramirez defeated Zepeda by a questionable 12-round majority decision in February 2019 in Fresno, California.
Many boxing fans, this writer included, had Zepeda winning handily by an 8-4 score. The judges scored it 116-112, 115-113 for the hometown fighter Ramirez, and the third had it 114-114.
“The WBC truly regrets having lost so much time and having mandatory contender Jose Zepeda frozen as well as other fighters in the division,” WBC sanctioning body said on Twitter.
We wish Josh Taylor success in his future inside and outside the ring.
“The WBC hereby orders Jose Zepeda vs Jose Carlos Ramirez to fight for the vacant super lightweight championship of the world.”
It’ll be interesting to see the rematch between 2012 U.S Olympian Jose Ramirez and Zepeda.
Jose Zepeda has looked impressive recently, winning his last five fights:
- Josue Vargas
- Henry Lundy
- Ivan Baranchyk
- Kendo Castaneda
- Jose Pedraza
Ramirez, 29, recently bounced back from a narrow 12-round unanimous decision loss to Jose Ramirez from last year to defeat the always tough Jose Pedraza by a 12-round unanimous decision earlier this year in March, winning by the scores 116-112, 116-112, and 116-112.
Ramirez’s leaky defense could leave him vulnerable to Zepeda’s big power shots, as we saw in their previous fight in 2019.
Whether Ramirez’s high work rate will be enough for him to win another remains to be seen.
Given that Ramirez will be the A-side once again, his rematch with the 32-year-old Zepeda will likely take place in his hometown of Fresno, California again, which will give him an advantage if the rounds are close.