Scottish junior welterweight Josh Taylor 13-0 (11) took a big step up in class on Saturday night when he took on former world title challenger Viktor Postol 29-2 (12) at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland, but it was a test he passed with flying colours.
“He came here and I think he fought the best fight of his career,” the Edinburgh Evening News quoted Taylor as saying after the fight. “He came here and it was his last crack of the whip. If he’d beaten me he would’ve been back in title contention. He came in the best shape of his life and it showed.
The fight was the first time the 27-year-old “Tartan Tornado” had been extended 12 rounds despite six of his last seven bouts being scheduled for the championship distance.
It was a composed performance by Taylor, who made the necessary adjustments after Postol had some early success to finish the fight the stronger of the two to win by scores of 117-110, 118-110 and 119-108.
“His feet were livelier than I’d seen previously. He surprised me and three or four times during the fight I had to adapt the way I was boxing. I was getting caught early on and my defence was a bit too leaky but I got the job done eventually,” said Taylor.
“It was a huge step but I didn’t feel like it was anything I couldn’t handle. Not once did I feel uncomfortable or feel like I was out of my depth. I was just trying too hard and when I did relax I got my shots off and started coming on strong.
“In terms of the stage, and who the opponent was, it was a huge step up but in terms of actual boxing it was nothing I couldn’t handle. If I’d performed at 100 per cent my best, I strongly believe I would’ve got him out of there.”
If everything goes to plan for Taylor, he could be heading to New York City to face WBC junior welterweight champion Jose Ramirez next, or possibly entering the second season of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) as a wildcard entry. Either option is fine with his manager Barry McGuigan.
“I’m not worried about fighting Jose Ramirez in New York,” he said. “I wouldn’t like to go to the west coast simply because he’s very popular there. We’ll see what our budgets are like, look at the WBSS as well and keep our options open.”