Barry McGuigan says Josh Taylor can handle world title fight in US

Josh Taylor celebrates after defeating Viktor Postol (right). Picture: Rob Casey/SNS
Josh Taylor celebrates after defeating Viktor Postol (right). Picture: Rob Casey/SNS
Have your say

Promoter and manager Barry McGuigan insists Josh Taylor can cope with a trans-Atlantic trip as he chases his first world title.

The Scot swept to a 13th straight victory as a professional with a gritty points win over the former world champion Viktor Postol in Glasgow on Saturday night.

Their SSE Hydro showdown was a final eliminator to see who fights next for the WBC super lightweight crown.

It is currently held by Jose Ramirez but while he is due to take on fellow American Danny O’Connor on 7 July, McGuigan does not expect to see the belt change hands.

McGuigan, the head of Cyclones Promotions, is already eyeing a Stateside clash with the incumbent for his ambitious Prestonpans puncher.

Taylor, 27, kicked off his pro career three years ago in Texas and has also tasted action in Brooklyn and Las Vegas.

It seems certain he will be made to travel again if he wants to get his chance but, so long as the fight does not take place in California, McGuigan fancies his man’s chances.

He said: “Josh made his pro debut on the undercard of a world title fight in El Paso.

“He then fought that awkward Mexican kid that took him the distance in Vegas, while he has fought in big arenas round the world as an amateur.

“There is much more pressure on him now as a pro but he can handle it. I’m not worried about him fighting Jose Ramirez in New York.

“I wouldn’t like to take him to the west coast of the States simply because Ramirez is very popular out there.

“But we’ll see what our budgets are like, we’ll see what the WBSS [World Boxing Super Series] is like as well and see what’s available.

“We’re keeping all our options open, which is the sensible thing to do.”

Taylor was taken to hospital following the fight after suffering a nasty cut to his eyebrow. But McGuigan was delighted as his prospect refused to blink in the face of his sternest test yet.

The only man to have previously beaten Postol was pound-for-pound king Terrence Crawford, but Taylor kept his cool after a sticky start, working the Ukrainian to the body before taking advantage with a vicious left hook midway through the tenth round which sent Postol tumbling backwards.

Postol beat the count but the damage had been done as Taylor scored a 118-110, 117-110, 119-108 win on the judges’ scorecards.

Taylor is already gathering the kind of fanbase that propelled fellow Scot Ricky Burns to national fame – but McGuigan sees bigger things in store for the East Lothian fighter.

He said: “Can he become UK or even a world star? Without a doubt – but it takes time for that to happen. You can’t do it in 13 fights.

“You can do it a lot quicker if you take risks which we have taken throughout his career.

“This was a test against Postol and he stood up to it. He proved he is the quality kid I always believed he is and we’re now ready to go on and fight for the world title.”

Speaking after the fight, Taylor said: “I feel I’m on the verge of fulfilling my dream and fighting for a world title.”