By Sean Jones: Former undisputed light welterweight champion Josh Taylor has reportedly vacated his IBF title, which leaves him only the WBO belt. Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs) already vacated his WBA & WBC belts to swerve time-consuming fights against tough foes.
Taylor will now face former WBO mandatory Jack Catterall next, with only the World Boxing Organization 140-lb title in his possession.
For Catterall, it’s got to be a huge letdown that he’ll be fighting Taylor with only one title on the line, as he arguably beat him last February in a fight that the judges scored as a 12-round split decision in favor of Josh. The fight took place in Taylor’s home country in Glasgow, Scotland.
If Catterall (26-1, 13 KOs) wins, he’ll be the WBO champion, which is better than nothing but not the same as being undisputed. The location of the fight will be important because if it’s back in Glasgow, Catterall will have his work cut out for him trying to win a decision.
Had the 31-year-old Taylor held onto his IBF strap, he would have needed to defend against his mandatory Jeremias Ponce with that organization.
Believe me, that wouldn’t have been a piece of cake for Taylor because Ponce is a quality fighter that wouldn’t roll over on him. With Taylor giving up the IBF strap, Ponce will face #2 Subriel Matias for the vacant belt later this year.
Taylor plans on moving up to 147 next year, so he’s not losing any sleep by vacating all of his titles. The money fights for him are at welterweight, and he probably should have already moved up in weight this year rather than waiting until 2023.
Taylor wants to fight welterweight champions Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford, but neither of those fighters is free right now. If Taylor moved up now, he’d have a shot at facing Keith Thurman, Jaron Ennis, Vergil Ortiz Jr, and Conor Benn.
“Bob Arum has indicated that Josh Taylor has now vacated his IBF super-lightweight world title (after previously also vacating the WBA & WBC) as he’s said Taylor will be going into the Jack Catterall rematch defending just the WBO belt,” per talkSPORT.