Josh Taylor vs. Viktor Postol – Preview and analysis
By Tim Royner: Josh Taylor (12-0, 11 KOs) will be defending his World Boxing Council Silver light welterweight title against former WBC 140lb champion Viktor Postol (29-1, 12 KOs) this Saturday night The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. The winner of the Taylor vs. Postol fight will be in position to challenge WBC light welterweight champion Jose Ramirez soon.
Ramirez (22-0, 16 KOs) will be defending his WBC 140lb title next month on July 7 against Danny O’Connor (30-3, 11 KOs). If he wins, he’s expected to defend against the Taylor-Postol winner in his next fight.
The 2012 Olympian Josh Taylor has had things his own way through most of his three-year pro career, but he’s now getting up there with the big boys in the light welterweight division and things could soon change for him. The 34-year-old Postol represents a huge step up in class for the 5’10” Taylor from the fodder that his management has been matching up against him in the last three years. Taylor has shined for the most part in beating the likes of Winston Compos, Miguel Vazquez, Ohara Davies, Warren Joubert and Alonso Olvera. None of those fighters had anywhere near the talent to have given Taylor a real test. The 5’11’ Postol will be a real tough match for Taylor, and there’s a chance he could come up empty in this fight. We know that Taylor is good enough to beat the B and C level opposition he’s been fed, but it could be a different story when he gets inside the ring with the Ukrainian Postol, who has lost only once in his 11-year pro career to Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford two years ago in July 2016, Postol lost by a 12 round unanimous decision. Postol was dropped twice by Crawford in the 5th and he was deducted a point in the 11th after he hit him with a rabbit punch.
”I’m just going to be patient. I’m not going to dive in and go 100 miles an hour because he’ll be banking on his experience,” Taylor said to RingTV.com. “When I start hitting him, that’s when things will change. When I start hitting him downstairs he’ll slow down and if he puts pressure on me, that’s when I’ll catch him out. I think I can take Postol out with my speed and timing.”
Taylor is catching Postol at the right time with him having fought just once in the last two years. Postol’s last fight came against Jamisidbek Najmiddinov last year in September. Postol defeated Najmiddinov by a 10 round unanimous decision. In 2018, Postol has yet to fight, and that suggests that he still hasn’t fully come back from his loss to Crawford yet. Before that loss, Postol has been super busy with his career. But since then, he’s been largely inactive.
The high point of Postol’s career is his 10th round injury stoppage of Lucas Matthysse. Postol used his five inch height and four inch reach advantage to dominate Matthysse and stop him in the 10th Matthysse suffered an eye injury in the 10th and was unable to continue. It was a freak accident, and not because of Matthysse getting hit hard or taking a bad beating. Postol won the fight based on his high work rate, height and reach more than anything. If Matthysse had done a better job of getting in punching range without getting hit so much, he would have had a good chance of winning. Regrettably, Matthysse didn’t use enough head movement to get in range to land his bigger shots in the fight and he paid the price in losing.
”His only defeat was to Terence Crawford on a points decision so I definitely have my hands full,” Taylor said of Postol. It could be exciting or it could be technical,” Taylor said. “In the first couple of rounds we could be feeling each other out with a sort of amateur style. I’m half-expecting that,”
Taylor, 5’10”, won’t have to worry about being too short to deal with Postol’s height and reach the way that Matthysse did. Taylor will still be one inch shorter and will be giving away three inches in reach to Postol, but he’ll have a lot more punching power than him. Taylor will need to figure out a way to land his shots without getting hit too much. Taylor needs to make sure he makes his shots count when he does get in range because he’s going to be dealing with Postol’s high work rate. The southpaw stance for Taylor will be an advantage for him over Postol, who fights out of the orthodox stance.
Taylor has the youth, punching power and the hometown advantage over Postol. Everything is in Taylor’s favor. The only way Postol wins this fight is if he can somehow KO Taylor, which isn’t likely given his lack of punching power. This fight is Taylor’s all the way.