Becoming a world champion was a salient checkmark in the career of Josh Taylor. However, after nabbing the IBF super lightweight title in 2019, the 32-year-old wrote down another lofty goal, become an undisputed titlist.

In short order, Taylor began aggregating golden trinkets left and right. With wins over Regis Prograis and Jose Ramirez, Taylor resided over the super light division as an undisputed champion. In the first defense of his throne, nevertheless, Taylor wet the bed against Jack Catterall. While he would go on to eke out a close but controversial split decision, the nonstop criticism surrounding his performance irritated Taylor.

Initially opting to move forward with his career, Taylor spent roughly one full year trying to secure a rematch with Catterall in an attempt to prove that he’s the better man. By and large, despite doing his best to lock in a sequel, the business of boxing came knocking on his door. Four world titles, while prestigious, come with an endless array of mandatories.

Unenthusiastic in fulfilling his obligations, Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs) began dropping his newly won titles one by one. Now, with just the WBO trinket remaining firmly around his waist, Taylor has witnessed his contemporaries retrieve what was once his.

Regis Prograis the newly crowned WBC champion and Subriel Matias, the current IBF titleholder, took full advantage of Taylor’s decision. But while on paper Prograis and Matias have earned the right to call themselves world champions, Taylor views their reigns as fraudulent.

“To me personally yes,” said Taylor to when asked if he still believes he should be viewed as an undisputed champion. “I haven’t lost the belts. Obviously, I was doing the rematch with Jack Catterall. But what got in the way of that was all the mandatories and stuff. So I let go of a couple of the belts. Really, there still my belts. There’s other champions at the weight but they're not really champions.”

Regardless of forfeiting the majority of his titles, Taylor was unable to land an immediate rematch with Catterall. Now, with his rival behind him, Taylor is set to return to the ring on June 10th, against Teofimo Lopez.

Provided he takes care of business in less than two months, Taylor appears to be interested in protracting his stay at 140 pounds just a tad bit longer. Though his focus remains on Lopez, Taylor is hoping that his fellow champions are enjoying what will ultimately be a transient title reign.

“I’m still the champion but they're just holding my belts at the minute. I’m still the man at 140.”