By Robert Segal: The IBF has ordered 140-lb champion Josh Taylor to defend his title against #1 mandatory challenger Jeremias Ponce next.
Assuming Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs) elects to make the defense the unbeaten Argentinian Ponce (30-0, 20 KOs), they have until August 23rd to negotiate a deal before a purse bid.
It’s more likely that Taylor, 31, will vacate his IBF title to swerve the difficult fight against the 26-year-old Ponce.
Vacating the IBF title would leave the former undisputed light welterweight champion Taylor with only his WBO 140-lb belt.
Taylor wants to fight a rematch with Jack Catterall later this year in November, which leaves him no choice but to vacate his IBF belt.
Ok so the IBF just officially order:
Josh Taylor Vs. Jeremias Ponce
I am assuming Taylor will vacant the title? Bring on Subriel?
— @BarbosaBox (@BarbosaBox) August 11, 2022
Poor Catterall won’t be happy seeing Taylor give up another title, as he arguably should be the undisputed 140-lb champion today after fighting Josh last February in Glasgow, Scotland.
Catterall lost a controversial 12-round split decision in a fight that many boxing fans had him winning. As such, if Taylor fights Catterall with only the WBO belt up for grabs, there’s a lot less reward for Jack if he wins.
Sure, Catterall will be the WBO 140-lb champion at that point, but it pales in comparison to what he should be at this time as the undisputed champion at light welterweight.
For Taylor, it doesn’t matter if he gives up the IBF strap because he’s planning on moving up to 147 next year to go after the money fights in that division.
Besides, Ponce isn’t a household name in the UK, and it wouldn’t be a huge fight for Taylor. It would be a high-risk, low-reward type of fight if Josh were to agree to take it.
If Taylor vacates the IBF belt, Ponce would then face #2 Subriel Matias (18-1, 18 KOs) for the vacant title. That would be an exciting fight from start to finish for boxing fans.
Ponce is a high-volume puncher with a lot of skills. For this part, the 30-year-old Puerto Rican native Matias is a huge puncher with lethal power in both hands.
Ponce totally schooled Lewis Ritson last year, stopping him in the 10th round in a one-sided fight from start to finish.