And then there was one.
Jake Donovan and Dan Rafael report that Josh Taylor has officially relinquished his IBF title, which he was ordered to defend against Jeremias Ponce earlier this month. As a result, Ponce has been ordered to face Subriel Matias for the now-vacant title.
Odds are good that they won’t need the negotiation period; rumor was that they already had an October date in mind. The IBF most likely ordered Taylor (19-0, 13 KO) vs Ponce (30-0, 20 KO) to encourage “The Tartan Tornado,” whose time at 140 pounds is clearly going to end after his hypothetical rematch with Jack Catterall, to stop squatting on the belt, turning what was an interim title fight with Matias (18-1, 18 KO) into the real deal.
Seems like it worked out perfectly, and one of the most violent fights on the schedule will have genuine hardware at stake. If their respective maulings of their semifinal opponents are anything to go by, this is going to be an absolutely vicious war of attrition. Whatever card this lands on will be improved immensely.