Viktor Postol dismisses challenge posed to him by Josh Taylor

Viktor Postol and Josh Taylor will clash at Glasgow's Hydro on June 23.
Viktor Postol and Josh Taylor will clash at Glasgow's Hydro on June 23.
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Boxer Viktor Postol says he hasn’t seen anything from Josh Taylor to suggest he is in danger of losing for just the second time in his career when the duo clash at the SSE Hydro next month.

The Ukrainian had an opportunity to size up the Prestonpans puncher at the Hilton Grosvenor Hotel in Glasgow yesterday as both fighters offered up their thoughts ahead of their WBC super lightweight world title eliminator showdown on Saturday, June 23.

Postol – a former world champion – has suffered a solitary defeat in 30 bouts compared to Taylor, who although remains undefeated, has stepped into the ring just 12 times since teaming up with boxing legend Barry McGuigan’s Cyclone Promotions in June 2015.

The eastern European’s only setback came against former undisputed world super lightweight champion Terence Crawford in Las Vegas in July 2016.

Now aged 34, Postol appreciates time is not on his side if he is to realise his dream of becoming a world champion for a second time. That said, should he manage to achieve where the likes of Miguel Vazquez and Ohara Davies have failed in getting the better of Taylor, he will be granted his opportunity to box for the WBC world title later this year.

“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 stays. “Experience will definitely count in my favour, absolutely.

“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.”

Postol revealed he will be heading back to his homeland of Ukraine to continue his preparations for his 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.”

Postol is of course not the only high-profile boxer to have put Ukraine on the map. The now retired Wladimir Klitschko – who Postol bears a striking resemblance to – 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 quipped. “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.”

• Tickets for Josh Taylor vs Viktor Postol at the SSE hydro, Glasgow on Saturday, June 23 are now on sale – priced £40, £60, £80 and vip inner ringside at £150 + booking fees, and available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk or call 0844 844 0444.