Why did Josh Taylor give up his world titles? Highlighting the strategic logic behind 'The Tartan Tornado's' choice

Josh Taylor v Jack Catterall Public Workout
Josh Taylor is set to face Jack Catteral on his return to the ring [Image Courtesy: Getty Images]

Josh Taylor will make his return to the boxing ring this weekend when he faces Jack Catterall, ending a hiatus of nearly a year. The pair previously clashed in February 2022, with 'The Tartan Tornado' winning the bout via a controversial split decision to retain his undisputed light welterweight title.

Many were not happy with the decision as he was knocked down in the eighth round and outlanded in 11 of the 12 rounds. Despite the loss, 'El Gato' also significantly outlanded the champion in both total punches and power punches. Before his next bout, Taylor vacated the IBF, WBA, and WBC light welterweight titles, retaining only the WBO and The Ring light welterweight titles.

He went on to lose both of his remaining belts in his next bout, suffering a unanimous decision loss to Teofimo Lopez. Take a look at why he chose to vacate his titles below.

Why did Josh Taylor give up his world titles?

Josh Taylor chose to vacate his IBF, WBA, and WBC light welterweight titles after defeating Jack Catterall to retain his undisputed status. He cited his lack of interest in facing his mandatory challengers at the time, which were Ismael Barroso, Jermias Ponce, and Jose Zepeda. He also did not want to continue paying sanctioning fees to all four organizations to defend the IBF, WBA, WBC, and WBO titles simultaneously as he would be losing up to 12 percent of his fight purse.

Despite vacating the titles, Taylor claimed that he was still king of the light welterweight division going into his bout with Teofimo Lopez. Speaking to Boxing Scene, 'The Tartan Tornado' stated:

"You have to beat me to get a hold of them belts. The belts the other lads have got, they’re my belts. I never lost them. I let go of them. So, they’re my belts. They’re still number two in the division. I’m still the king. No one’s beaten me, so I am the man to beat. I am the top dog in the 140 division. I’ve got one belt left and if you wanna become champion, you’re gonna have to fight me and beat me for it." [h/t Boxing Scene]

Taylor subsequently suffered the first loss of his professional boxing career, losing the WBO light welterweight belt - his last remaining title - to Lopez via unanimous decision. Taylor will have plenty of work to do if he hopes to reclaim undisputed status. In addition to 'The Takeover', Devin Haney, Isaac Cruz, and Subriel Matias hold the belts at 140 pounds.

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Edited by Jigyanshushri Mahanta
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