The WBO’s latest suite of rankings caused some stir when they installed Teofimo Lopez, who’s never fought at 140 pounds, at No. 2 in the division ahead of No. 3 Jack Catterall and No. 4 Jose Ramirez Jr. While this ordinarily wouldn’t be a huge issue, Josh Taylor’s impending move to 147 means that whoever sits at No. 2 will be in line for a vacant title fight against mandatory challenger Liam Paro.
Both Catterall’s (26-1, 13 KO) and Ramirez’s (27-1, 17 KO) teams filed grievances, and the sanctioning body released a remarkably lengthy and granular reply yesterday.
The final ruling, which starts at page 10, acknowledges that Catterall’s loss to Taylor was hugely controversial, but also points out that Catterall lacks other major achievements and failed to face a ranked opponent during his long stretch of waiting for a mandatory title shot. It also cites the fact that Lopez (16-1, 12 KO) is coming off a loss and inactive for nearly half a year, while Ramirez defeated the ranked Jose Pedraza last month.
As a result, Ramirez and Lopez switched spots, meaning the latter’s almost certainly getting the call to fight Paro as soon as Taylor ditches the belt. That could be this week, as Taylor has a purse bid pending with WBA mandatory Alberto Puello.