After Josh Taylor became the undisputed junior welterweight champion, one word sums up his last year-and-a-half - frustration.
After a close split-decision win over Jack Catterall, injuries and lack of activity have seen three of his four world titles get redistributed, as Regis Prograis is now the WBC champion, Subriel Matias, the IBF, and Rolando Romero, the WBA champion. Taylor's lone belt, the WBO junior welterweight world title will be up for grabs this Saturday, June 10th, when he faces Teofimo Lopez in New York City, live on ESPN.
“You have to beat me to get a hold of them belts,” Josh Taylor said when speaking to Keith Idec of BoxingScene.com. “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."
Taylor became the undisputed champion in the spring of 2021, in which two knockdowns springboarded him past Jose Ramirez, who held the other two world titles in the division. Since that fight, Taylor has only fought once.
“The WBO come out and mandated me to fight Teofimo Lopez because the fight with Catterall hadn’t been rescheduled,” Taylor said when speaking to BoxingScene.com. “So, the WBO come in and sorta said, ‘OK, we want you to fight your mandatory defense,’ which was Teofimo Lopez. So, I said, ‘If I’m staying at the weight to have this fight, I’m not gonna let go of the final belt that I’ve got.’ So, yeah, it was kinda made for me, the decision."