Josh Taylor-Jose Zepeda in play, purse bid on May 24

Josh Taylor will apparently stay in the junior welterweight division after all.

In recent days, the WBA stripped him of their world title for failing to agree to a mandatory defense against Alberto Puello. However, Taylor claims that he vacated the belt. Nonetheless, the "Tartan Tornado" is no longer the undisputed champion. Taylor still holds the WBC, WBO, and IBF straps.

Following a highly-controversial split decision win over WBO mandatory Jack Catterall in February, Taylor explored a move to the welterweight limit of 147-pounds.

But after seeing no clear path for a belt, the Scottish star has decided to give junior welterweight another go. One possible fight is a clash with WBC mandatory challenger Jose Zepeda, who is one of the most powerful punchers in the division.

"Zepeda is coming off a fight of the year performance against Baranchyk and a first-round KO of Vargas in October," Top Rank President Todd Duboef told Sky Sports. "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."

WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman also confirmed they have ordered Taylor-Zepeda, although he doesn't understand why the WBA stripped Taylor based on a prior agreement. The WBC ordered negotiations to take place between the Taylor and Zepeda camps last month. At the time, it was still widely believed Taylor was moving up to welterweight.

"We have ordered that fight," Sulaiman added. "We have a purse bid date, I believe it's the 24th of this month.

"The issue here is we had an agreement. We met in Puerto Rico, the four presidents, Paco Valcarcel, Daryl Peoples, Gilberto Mendoza and myself and we had an agreement. We sat down, we discussed that division and I was clear that [Jack] Catterall as WBO mandatory was next. Zepeda as WBC mandatory was next, and then the IBF mandatory was next.

"For some strange reason, the WBA simply went out and ordered another fight, and now they have taken away the title from Josh Taylor, or Josh relinquished. Whichever maybe, but it's very unfortunate. We want to keep the mandatory unified champions. We want to have mandatory contenders that are of the highest level, but we will see what happens next."

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