By Keith Idec
Josh Taylor can’t envision Viktor Postol or anyone else beating him in front of his extremely supportive Scottish fans.
The undefeated Taylor will oppose Postol in what could be the toughest test of his career Saturday night at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow. The Scottish southpaw and Postol will meet in a final WBC 140-pound elimination match, which should earn the winner a title shot.
“It will be a great night in The Hydro,” Taylor told Sky Sports. “It’ll be full of passion and very loud – the fans always make a lot of noise. It might be a bit hostile for Postol, so we’ll have to wait and see how he deals with it.
“That atmosphere lifts me that extra five, 10 percent every time and when I walk out of the ring I feel like ‘King Kong.’ I know no one is going to beat me in front of my home fans.”
Five of the 27-year-old Taylor’s past six fights have taken place in Scotland, either in Glasgow or Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city. Most recently, Taylor (12-0, 11 KOs) stopped Nicaragua’s Winston Campos (30-4-5, 18 KOs) in the third round March 3 at The SSE Hydro.
Ukraine’s Postol (29-1, 17 KOs) has lost only to three-division champion Terence Crawford (33-0, 24 KOs), who is commonly considered one of the top three boxers, pound-for-pound, in the sport.
Postol, 34, hasn’t fought since winning a 10-round unanimous decision against Uzbekistan’s Jamshidbek Najmiddinov (18-1, 12 KOs) on September 16 in Kiev. Najmiddinov dropped Postol in the fifth round of that fight, Postol’s only appearance since Crawford soundly defeated him by unanimous decision in July 2016 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Postol, who’s now ranked No. 1 by the WBC, was supposed to face New Orleans’ Regis Prograis (21-0, 18 KOs) for the WBC’s interim super lightweight title March 9 in Deadwood, South Dakota. The former champion withdrew from the Prograis bout because he suffered a fractured thumb during training camp.
Postol’s comparative inactivity notwithstanding, the second-ranked Taylor realizes he’ll encounter an experienced, skillful fighter Saturday night.
“This is my time and I’m feeling confident and comfortable ahead of this fight,” Taylor said. “Postol has experience in abundance, a lot more than I have in the pro game. But I believe in my ability and, feeling fit and sharp, I have no worries if I have to go 12 rounds for the first time.”
Taylor has knocked out all but one of his pro opponents and realizes becoming the first foe to stop Postol would earn him even more respect.
“To stop him would be a huge statement, but I won’t go looking for it,” Taylor said. “The way I’m feeling, I can definitely catch him out and, if do, I will take him out.
“It’s not only about winning, but I want to put in a good, solid performance. Then my name will be talked about highly within boxing. They’ll take notice in America and around the world.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.