Boxing legend Barry McGuigan is urging Scottish boxing fans to “catch Josh Taylor while they can” ahead of next month’s WBC world title eliminator with Ukraine’s Viktor Postol.
The former WBA world featherweight champion has been consistent in talking up the 27-year-old, having persuaded the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist to sign professional terms with Cyclone Promotions in summer 2015.
McGuigan revealed he knew Taylor was the real deal from the moment he clapped eyes on him, immediately setting himself a challenge of moulding the Prestonpans puncher into a future world champion.
Under the tutelage of his son and trainer, Shane, Taylor hasn’t been tested in any of the 12 victories posted on his record despite having fought at iconic venues including Las Vegas’ MGM Grand or the Barclays Centre in New York.
And now only the formidable Postol (29-1), whom he is up against next at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro on Saturday, June 23, stands in the way of the Scot and a shot at the WBC world super lightweight title later this year.
“The Scottish fans have been great for him, but anyone who hasn’t seen him yet should snap up a ticket for this show because he’s going to be so big that I can’t say for definite he’ll be back on a bill here any time soon,” McGuigan said.
“My advice would be to catch him while you can because Josh is going to go global. If he continues to progress as he has been doing, then we’ll be taking him all over the world.
“We have a duty to him to do whatever is best for his career – both in a sporting and a financial sense – and that’s likely to mean that he’ll be fighting in lots of different countries as a world champion.
“I firmly believe that this bout will be a tipping point for Josh. Not only will a win guarantee him a shot at the WBC title, it will raise his profile because beating someone as good as Postol will let everyone else realise just how good he is.
“He’s already fought in Las Vegas and Brooklyn and the Yanks just love him because he’s an all-action guy. They want to see boxers who fight on the front foot and that’s Josh to a T.”
McGuigan revealed the relationship between Taylor and Shane – in and out of the gym – is like a match made in heaven.
“Shane has been the ideal trainer for him,” he explained. “They get on so well and Josh can assimilate advice and take a game-plan into a fight. He’s an explosive kid, but it’s about technique as much as it is about power.
“He’s learned to be patient and to take that extra half-second to set himself before he gets his shots off because it has been explained to him that he’ll get much more weight behind his punches if his stance is correct.
“That might sound obvious, but it also takes balls to do that in the heat of battle. Josh has them and he’s proved it. You look at his professional record and he’s stopped 11 of his 12 opponents up until now. That tells you something.
“Listen, Viktor Postol is a top-quality opponent, better than anyone else that Josh has met so far. But I don’t just think he’ll beat Postol – I think he’ll stop him. But the fact we’re putting him in with Postol this early shows you the faith we have in Josh. We’re not mucking about here; this kid is already the most exciting fighter in Britain. He’s also one of the most exciting boxers in the world and, after this fight, everyone will know about him.”