Jack Catterall’s hopes of being reinstated as the WBO super-lightweight number one contender have been turned down by the organisation.
In their updated rankings for March Catterall was dropped to number three, Liam Paro moved up to one, Teofimo Lopez jumped a place to number two and Jose Carlos Ramirez climbed three slots to number four.
Catterall, who held the WBO number one spot for over two years, had hoped to retain his ranking following his performance against Josh Taylor on February 26 during their undisputed super- lightweight title bout in Glasgow. Taylor retained his titles on a split decision to the surprise of many who had the challenger winning.
Jeffrey Benz Esq., attorney for Catterall, emailed the WBO on March 14 seeking assurance that his client’s ranking would not be affected by the loss. WBO In House Counsel Gustavo Olivieri Esq., responded advising him that unless the British Boxing Board of Control annulled the official result of the February 26 contest then the WBO could not maintain Catterall’s position at number one.
Following the BBBofC’s investigation into the scoring of the fight their only punishment saw long-time official Ian John-Lewis (who turned in an 114-111 verdict for Taylor) downgraded from A Star Class to an A Class Official.
In their statement the Board also said they had contacted the four governing bodies (WBO, WBC, IBF and WBA) to throw their support behind Catterall being made mandatory challenger for each of the titles.
The WBO informed Mr Benz that Catterall would be ‘afforded a top rating in the Jr. Welterweight division’. The lawyer then challenged the ruling ten days later requesting written responses and explanations as to why.
Jose Carlos Ramirez, former unified champion at 140lbs, also sought legal advice and his attorney Peter Aguayo, Esq. emailed the WBO questioning his client’s ranking claiming that Ramirez should in fact be in the top two.
David Berlin Esq. acted on behalf of Teofimo Lopez after being concerned at the former number one lightweight being given a number two ranking at his new weight which he is still to fight at.
Following a number of correspondences between the WBO and legal teams, allowing them time to submit arguments, the governing body decided on their new top four based on a number of factors which included: Amateur records and accolades, professional records, titles, quality of opposition, TV exposure, recognitions and other relevant factors.
The WBO’s ruling is as follows: ‘The Committee reaffirms Mr Jack Catterall’s number three ranking position in the Jr. Welterweight World Ratings.’
‘Mr Teofimo Lopez is hereby demoted to the number four position in the Jr. Welterweight Ratings.’
‘Jose Ramirez is hereby promoted to the number two position in the Jr. Welterweight Ratings.’
This now leaves Liam Paro as the number one contender in the WBO top ten, and the Australian will now wait to see whether Josh Taylor remains at the weight or moves up to welterweight allowing the world titles to become vacant.
Catterall has recently signed a promotional deal with Probellum and told Boxing Social on April 9 he would be interested in a fight with former super-lightweight world champion Regis Prograis.
To read the WBO Ratings Committee Resolution visit WBO | WBO Ratings Committee Resolution – Jack Catterall, Teófimo López & José Ramirez Final – WBO (wboboxing.com)