Josh Taylor Officially A One-Belt Champion, IBF Orders New Fight For Vacant Title
Josh Taylor officially holds just one junior welterweight title now.
Taylor has vacated his IBF 140-pound title, according to Boxing Scene. This news was first speculated earlier this week when Taylor’s purse bid for his mandatory defense against Jeremias Ponce was called off.
Now, Taylor’s move could further open a door for a rematch against Jack Catterall, which is targeted for November 26 in Manchester or Glasgow, Boxing Scene added.
Ponce marks to be the third mandatory fighter that Taylor has skipped out on. He was forced to vacate his WBC and WBA titles after refusing to go through with the ordered fights.
Ahead of Taylor’s undisputed match against Catterall in February, he said that he wasn’t planning on remaining the division’s undisputed champion due to the sanctioning bodies’ fees.
He had planned a potential move to welterweight and has been suggested to take on WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford, but that plans have been on a halt ever since Taylor made it clear that he wants another match with Catterall.
Taylor’s decisions stem from his controversial first fight with Catterall, which he had won by split decision. Taylor had a cut by his left eye and went down in the eighth round. He also had a point deducted in the 11th round for punching after the bell; Catterall had a point deducted for holding in the 10th.
The decision caused an outcry in the boxing community and Catterall demanded a rematch.
No official word of their rematch has been announced yet.
As for Ponce, Boxing Scene reported that Puerto Rico’s Subriel Matias is in negotiations for a fight for the now vacant title. It is possible that this fight would take place on the undercard of Deontay Wilder-Robert Helenius on October 15 at the Barclays Center.