SCOTLAND’S Josh Taylor will make “a huge statement,” if he beats Viktor Postol in a WBC final eliminator at the Hydro in Glasgow on June 23.
It’s an ambitious move for Taylor who has only had 12 professional contests. In contrast Postol is a 30 bout veteran and a former world champion. But this will be a final eliminator for the WBC super-lightweight title. The winner will find themselves in line to challenge Jose Ramirez for the world title.
Taylor however insists that it is his time to move to a new level. “We’ve been speaking about it for a number of weeks. It was in the pipeline, I always knew it was an option. With him pulling out of the [Regis] Prograis fight we knew that we could get a good fight in and it would be a great step up in class. A genuine world class fighter. I’m really looking forward to getting in there,” Taylor told Boxing News. “I know I’m at this level.
“I’ve been telling you for a number of years now that I believe in my own ability. I’m ready to take on the challenge.”
Taylor has plenty of admiration from Postol, who dismantled Lucas Matthysse, a feared puncher, to win the WBC title in 2015. “I think he’s great. His footwork, he’s got great footwork like all the top amateurs have. He’s got the great moves, feet in and out, sharp with his right hand. He lines you up with that pawing jab and his right down the middle. So it’s a really decent fight for me and I’m really looking forward to it,” Josh said. “It could be a really hard fight. It’s up to me to make sure I’m on top of my game.
“He’s a great, great fighter.”
“I know that I’m mentally strong,” Taylor continued. “I’m not bothered about his past fights, I’m just focusing on this fight. I know I’ve got it in me to dig deep when the going gets tough.”
Postol has only lost to Terence Crawford, one of the finest fighters in the world. It’s hard to read much into that defeat. “The only person he’s lost to is Terence Crawford, so a top fighter,” Josh mused. “It’s definitely not a disgrace, not at all… Crawford’s the best on the planet at the minute. I know I’ve got my hands full, I’m looking forward to getting in there and doing the job, I cannot wait.”
Although Taylor’s professional experience is comparatively limited, he believes he has had the lessons he needs to prepare for Postol’s style. “The fight against [former world champion Miguel] Vazquez, he was really tricky and unorthodox, unpredictable. I got to him in the end, once I hit him and hit him hard I got to him in the end,” Taylor said. “But again my amateur experience, I’ve fought top Russians, I fought top guys from Eastern European countries. So I’m feeling very much ready for this.”
Victory “would be a huge statement”. He continued, “I am ready for mixing it with the top guys in the world.
“That’s how I want to move. I’m in this game to be in with the best and be world champion. You’ve got to beat the best guys to be the best. I’m relishing this challenge and I really can’t wait.”
“If I win hopefully the next fight is then a world championship,” he concluded. “I believe I can do it as well.”