Josh Taylor's next opponent has been revealed - it's not Jack Catterall

  • Tom Ward

Josh Taylor will not face Jack Catterall in an immediate rematch after agreeing to vacate his WBA super-lightweight title last weekend.

The Scotsman’s next opponent is expected to be Jose Zepeda, with Taylor’s promoter, Todd DuBoef, confirming they are currently locked in talks with the American’s camp.

Taylor, 31, had been expected to move up to welterweight, but the unified WBC, WBO and IBF super-lightweight world champion is now set to defend his belts against his WBC mandatory challenger Zepeda.

Zepeda is also contracted with DuBoef’s company, Top Rank, and the promoter insisted he has earned the right to fight for the title following back-to-back wins over Ivan Baranchyk and Josue Vargas.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “Zepeda is coming off a fight of the year performance against Baranchyk and a first-round KO of Vargas in October.

“These together have earned him the mandatory position to Josh’s WBC crown.

“We are working with both teams to put this fight on next.”

Taylor’s last fight was against Catterall in Glasgow back in February – a fight in which he won by split decision despite having been knocked down in the eighth round and being seemingly outboxed by the challenger.

Josh Taylor narrowly beat Jack Catterall by split decision

Speaking about that fight, DuBoef told “I mean I think the knockdown was one thing, but I felt he started coming on in the late rounds, and in the back half of the fight I thought he started just getting into his gameplan.

“He started not letting him tie him up so much, being the aggressor, pushing him back, and that’s when he really did start getting back into it.

“Josh showed his champion mentality coming back in the way that he did. It was very impressive. But he did dig a hole for himself.

“It was a horrible, sloppy fight to score. You had points taken here, points taken there. It was a very difficult fight to score.

“But I think at the end of the day, he got it done.

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“I feel like it’s like we’re served up all these questions that we have to respond to in two seconds, right?

“It’s like, is he going to fight Kell Brook, is he going to fight Terence Crawford, is he going to fight Shawn Porter?

“I mean, it’s so difficult. It’s not like a ping pong match where you have to return a ball right away. I think you have to sit down, right?

“Ben and him have enough conversations and they have to say, listen, we’re not staying at 140, we’re definitely going up to 147, we want some fun thing maybe in between until we get a title fight, I don’t know, so we’ll have those conversations.”

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