Josh Taylor has revealed he is training three times a day in preparation for next month’s WBC super lightweight world title eliminator against Ukraine’s Viktor Postol.
The Edinburgh fighter is ready to put his undefeated record (12-0) on the line against the former world champion (29-1) at the SSE Hydro on Saturday, 23 June.
Taylor is considered the hottest prospect in British boxing having shot up the rankings since making his professional debut in El Paso, Texas, in July 2015. And, having already fought and won three times in America, the Prestonpans puncher is now on the verge of becoming a global superstar.
But the 27-year-old accepts it is going to take a heroic effort if he is to get the better of a boxer, whose only defeat came against the formidable Terence Crawford in 2016.
Taylor and Postol came face to face for the first time in Glasgow this week to promote the fight, with the winner expected to go on and challenge for the world title later this year. However, neither appeared unnerved by the other – indeed, although Taylor’s admiration for his opponent was forthcoming, his confidence is unshakeable. “It’s an absolutely massive fight for me next month but I think it’s coming at the right time,” said Taylor.
“I am entering my physical prime years at 27 and getting my man’s strength now, filling out and getting stronger. I’ve stepped up my training this time, to as much as three times a day, to make sure it’s the best of me.
“I have not watched much of Postol since the fight was announced to be honest. I’ve just been focusing on myself to make sure I’m right. But I will watch a few of his fights. I’ve watched the Crawford fight so I know he’s a class fighter and he has a great amateur pedigree as well with hundreds of fights. I know he’s got the experience in abundance so I will watch more as our fight edges ever closer.”
Postol’s stay in Glasgow was brief but the mutual respect – a rarity in the sport these days – was commendable.
“I respect him for coming over but when we did the face to face I looked straight through him,” Taylor said. “At the end of the day I want to do a number on him and knock him out so I gave him the eye. I would have stood and stared at him all day. That’s the wee mental thing and now he knows I want to win and become a world champion. He wants his belt back and I know I’m in for a hard night but that’s all the motivation I need.
“I don’t think it was about mind games. We just put the friendliness aside for a moment or two. It was a case of saying ‘right, it’s on and I’ll see you on June 23’. He understood that and he was trying to give it back to me the way he was looking at me stone-faced. But I was looking at him in a way that said ‘I want to get you and I’m going to get you’.”
Taylor admits the one hang-up he has is the contest will again take place outwith his hometown. That said, he is grateful for the support from other parts of the country.
“It would be nice if there was a suitable venue in Edinburgh, being my home city, but Meadowbank is gone,” he explained. “When we did the weigh-in before the [Miguel] Vasquez fight in Prestonpans the place was absolutely jumping and that makes it a wee bit better. But the fans all over Scotland are passionate. I am becoming more recognised in the west. People in passing cars are shouting my name so I am getting great support in Glasgow.”