Having fought the best of the best in former undisputed world super lightweight Terence Crawford, Viktor Postol insists he has nothing to fear when he goes glove-to-glove with Scotland’s prized-asset Josh Taylor next month.
The Ukrainian got the chance to size up the Edinburgh fighter at the Hilton Grosvenor Hotel in Glasgow yesterday ahead of their WBC super lightweight world title eliminator at the SSE Hydro on Saturday 23 June.
Former world champion Postol’s solitary defeat in 30 professional bouts came against the imperious Crawford at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in July 2016.
Taylor, in comparison, has an unblemished record since teaming up with boxing legend Barry McGuigan’s Cyclone Promotions three years ago. However, with 12 wins to his name and just 47 rounds under his belt (Postol has completed 232) the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist has quite a battle ahead of him according to the Eastern European.
“I’ve had 30 fights whereas Josh has only fought 12 times so I’m going to use all of my experience to gain an advantage in this fight,” said Postol, who jetted in from Los Angeles where he now lives.
“Experience will definitely count in my favour, absolutely. I know if I come through this one then I’ll get my shot at the world title again.
“Of course I’ve seen film of Taylor fighting. He’s a good opponent. I can’t say that I saw any particular weaknesses but I will also say that I didn’t see anything spectacular. The only concern is that I will be fighting in Scotland, which is not an advantage. But, apart from that, there is nothing to fear. In my 30 fights I’ve seen everything there is to see.
“I fought Terence Crawford, who is one of the very best fighters in the world. Honestly, I am happy that I fought him because after the fight I made my conclusions – and now I’m a better fighter for it. Crawford has moved up already [to welterweight] and, of the fighters left in the division, I feel I am strong. But the best in the division? I have to beat Josh Taylor first, then we will see.”
The 34-year-old is not the only high-profile boxer to have put Ukraine on the map. The now retired Wladimir Klitschko – to whom Postol bears a striking resemblance – is a former two-time world belt holder and is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all time.
“I get told all the time that I look like Klitschko,” Postol said with a wry smile. “And of course he’s a hero of mine. Actually, Klitschko has worked with the trainer who is now working with me but I’ve not spent much time with him recently because he’s very busy now. But, whenever he comes to my city, we meet.
“The first secret to Ukrainian boxing success is hard work. And more hard work. It all begins by aiming for the Olympic gold. If they don’t get that, then they turn professional and try to realise their dreams in the pro ranks. I never got to the Olympics but I decided to turn pro – and I became world champion.
“I cannot say that I’m a big star in Ukraine but people recognise me on the street, they know who I am.”
Postol revealed he will be heading back to his homeland to continue his preparations for next month’s duel with Taylor.
“I used to do all my camps in Los Angeles but for this fight I’m going to be preparing in the Ukraine,” he explained. “It’s a lot closer to Scotland for a start and I’ll also find it much easier to acclimatise if I go there first.
“I will also have good sparring partners at home, plus a lot of different advantages. You will see all of these things come together in the ring on June 23.
“In the beginning, I really thought about training in LA but, for this fight, Ukraine is better.”
l Tickets for Josh Taylor vs Viktor Postol at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow on Saturday 23 June are now on sale. Pirces are £40, £60, £80 and £150 for VIP inner ringside seats (plus booking fees) Tickets are available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk or by calling 0844 844 0444.