STV Sport sponsored by Papa Johns

Josh Taylor stripped of WBA title despite claiming he 'vacated' belt

The Tartan Tornado claimed he had taken the decision to hand the championship back.

Josh Taylor stripped of WBA title but Scottish fighter claims he ‘vacated’ championship SNS Group

Josh Taylor has claimed he “vacated” the WBA super-lightweight title – despite the governing body stating he was stripped of the gold.

The Tartan Tornado defeated Regis Prograis for the belt in 2019 and most recently retained it during a controversial points win over Jack Caterall in February.

The WBA said a “lack of response” from Taylor’s team over a mandatory defence against the undefeated Dominican Alberto Puello meant they had taken the decision to remove the championship from the Scottish fighter.

A statement from the organisation read: “The World Boxing Association (WBA) championships committee, in accordance with the organisation’s rules, has decided that the super lightweight title, which was held by the Scottish Josh Taylor, is vacant as of May 13.”

However, the 31-year-old – who remains the IBF, WBO and WBC champion – posted on social media that it was his call to hand the title back.

He wrote: “FYI, I vacated it the belt I want stripped.”

Taylor, who is unbeaten in 19 bouts, previously indicated the win over Englishman Catterall at the Ovo Hydro in Glasgow would be his last fight in the light-welterweight division.

The contentious split points win was heavily criticised following the bell, with many feeling the Chorley-based fighter had caused an unlikely upset.

Taylor has also been ordered to begin negotiations for a defence of his WBC crown against Jose Zepeda by May 24.