Josh Taylor Says He Vacated WBA Tilte
Josh Taylor previously ascended to undisputed status at jr. welterweight and of course, one of the world organizations has now forced him to give up their belt
The Scotsman Taylor took to social media Saturday to clarify that despite what the World Boxing Association is saying currently, he told them that he wouldn’t be fighting the mandatory challenger that they wanted him to,
“The World Boxing Association (WBA) Championships Committee, in accordance with the organization's rules, has decided that the Super Lightweight title, which was held by the Scottish Josh Taylor, is vacant,”. Hmm. Maybe you need to talk to the WBA. They’re saying stripped
— stacy smith (@stacysm92154858) May 14, 2022
Taylor was responding to the WBA saying in a statement Saturday,
“The World Boxing Association (WBA) Championships Committee, in accordance with the organization’s rules, has decided that the Super Lightweight title, which was held by the Scottish Josh Taylor, is vacant as of May 13.
On March 8, the WBA ordered the mandatory fight between Taylor and the first-ranked boxer, Dominican Alberto Puello. As dictated by rule C.13, they had 30 days to reach an agreement but it was not completed.
On April 5, Puello’s team requested that the fight be called to a purse bid but the WBA waited until April 7th before calling the purse bid because that was the regulatory time. Subsequently, on April 11, the purse bid was ordered and scheduled for April 22nd.
The purse bid was held and only TGB, Puello’s promoter, attended it, so they kept the rights to organize the fight.
According to rule D-11, Purse Bid Contracts: The promoter who wins the purse bid shall have all fight contracts duly signed and delivered to the Chairman of the Championships Committee no later than twenty (20) days from the date the winning bid is awarded.
On May 3, 2022, the committee received the contract from Puello, and the deadline expired on Thursday, May 12.
Rule D 15. Failure to Sign. (a) states that if the champion fails to sign a bout contract within the required twenty-day period after the award of the bid or refuses to participate in the bout for the winning promoter, he shall be deemed to have violated these Rules and may have his title vacated.
Due to the lack of response from Taylor’s team, the committee proceeded to vacate the WBA 140-pound title, understanding that the rules must be known by all fighters who fight for a championship or are champions of the sanctioning body.”
Taylor was last in the ring in February in a 12 round, controversial battle, defending his four 140 lb. world titles against England’s Jack Catterall. Catterall was the IBF’s mandatory jr. welterweight challenger.
As we wrote in the aftermath, Taylor returned to his homeland and got more than he bargained for, needing every ounce of guts and scoring to come up with the narrow victory over the previously unbeaten Catterall. That came by scores of 113-112 on two cards with the third judge scoring it 114-111 for the challenger.
Despite facing a raucous home crowd of over 14,000 fans behind Taylor, Catterall controlled the fight throughout and scored the only knocked out of the bout. That came with two hard overhand lefts that dropped Taylor onto all fours in the eighth round stunning the crowd.
However, Taylor wasn’t seriously hurt and continued to press forward in the final rounds trying to land his straight lefts out of the southpaw stance.
A critical moment came later in the 10th round when referee Marcus McDonnell, who spent most of the fight interjecting himself and warning the fighters, finally took a point away from Catterall for holding and hitting the champ. And, obviously, that point would end up being huge for the ultimate outcome.
In a bizarre moment, the ref later took a point away from Taylor at the end of the 11th round for throwing a jab punch just after the bell at Catterall’s midsection. That deduction made the final decision more dramatic.
Taylor, now 19-0, 13 KOs, got the nod despite being out-landed by Catterall 120-73 in total punches in the fight. That means the champion got the decision, while being knocked down, and while only landing on average 6 punches a round. Catterall also cut the champion on the outside of the right eye and eventually, Taylor suffered a significant gash under the right eye as well.
Big Fight Weekend had the card 114-111 or 7 rounds to 5 for the challenger with the knockdown and each fighter being deducted a point.
Taylor was coming off his Undisputed win over Jose Ramirez of California by decision in May of 2021 in Las Vegas.
It is believed that Taylor and Catterall may end up rematching later in 2022 in what would be a more lucrative bout for both. Still, the “Tartan Tornado” may be looking to move up to welterweight and could end up vacating all of his 140 lb. titles in the process.
Obviously, he had no interest in a bout with the little known Puello, who’s a 20-0 fighter originally from the Dominican Republic, now training in Las Vegas. This was made clear by Taylor not even acknowledging the purse bid process or the contract being put in front of him for another mandatory fight.