‘The Tartan Tornado’ Josh Taylor (12-0) takes a huge step up to face ‘The Iceman’ Viktor Postol (29-1) at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow on June 23.
The Scot will take his perfect record into the final eliminator for the WBC world super-lightweight title against the 34-year-old Ukrainian.
Taylor, 27, is the current WBC silver super-lightweight champion and Postol is a former WBC world super-lightweight titleholder whose only defeat in 30 bouts was to pound-for-pound kingpin Terence Crawford in a unification fight in 2016.
You could look at the fight on paper and say that it’s ambitious match-making but the McGuigans clearly have confidence in their 140-pound charge, so BBN called upon their trusted experts to help break down the fight and pick a winner:
Robbie Davies Jr WBA Continental super-lightweight champion
“My opinion is youth will prevail.
As good as some of the wins Postol has on his record, e.g. Matthssye, I think that was his last hurrah. He will box clever and remain awkward but I think Josh’s speed will be key and will take a comfortable points win, if not a mid to late stoppage.”
Steve Wood VIP Promotions
“Very tough fight for Josh and I hope he’s not pushed too soon, I’m sure they will have done their homework and know more than me about their boy, so I’ll go Taylor points in a fight that will test Josh like never before.”
Miles Shinkwin Former Southern Area light-heavyweight champion
“Josh Taylor is in my top three favourite active fighters. Watched him train, watched him spar middleweights and manhandle them. Don’t think there is a limit to how good he can be and a stoppage victory would send out a huge statement.
A win for Josh, certainly; to not hear the final bell, a bonus.”
Andy Gatenby Boxing Trainer
“I think this is Josh Taylor’s toughest test. Postol has only lost to Crawford, who quite possibly could be the next biggest superstar in boxing. It’s a real 50/50 fight and if Josh can get the win, he has proven he is world class.
I think if he tries to KO Postol early it will be too risky, he has to box his way into a lead with a dominant jab and expect this to go to points.”
Anish Parekh BBN Writer
“Viktor Postol is something of an enigma, he unplugged “La Maquina” Lucas Matthyse at a time when the Argentine was regaining his fear-factor. Then he was out-foxed by Terrence Crawford, which is no great shame considering the former undisputed super-lightweight champion’s special talent. However, on his return he was dropped by unheralded Jamshidbek Najmiddino en-route to claiming an uninspiring, unanimous decision victory.
Josh Taylor, on the other hand, has looked excellent whilst climbing the super-lightweight rankings. Fast, powerful and patient – he has shown improvements in his most recent performances against Ohara Davies, Miguel Vazquez and Winston Campos.
If steady improvement signifies that Taylor is a man on his way up, then surely inconsistency is a trait that suggests that Postol is on his way down.
This is the perfect opportunity for Taylor to make a statement and it wouldn't surprise me if Taylor stops Postol, but anything less than a clear, unanimous decision for the Scot would.”
Peter Sims Boxing Trainer
“I think this could possibly be a bit early for Taylor but it depends on what Postol has got left in the tank.
I’m going with Postol by late KO in a hard fight for Taylor.”
Daniel Smith BBN Writer
"A gritty-gran prix of a scrap should be on the cards for this WBC super-lightweight- eliminator clash between the two ferocious and title-hungry battlers.
The fight should be enriched and embellished with a slew of rapid-punishing combinations, solid sledge-hammering hooks and powerhouse body shots that wreak havoc for their recipients.
A real tough test for the silver WBC super-lightweight champion, and although the bookies are backing Josh "The Tartan Tornado" Taylor, Viktor Postol is no 'Joe Palooka' and poses a very dangerous and lethal threat to the extremely talented and younger Scotsman.
Can Taylor thaw "The Iceman"? I reckon he can!!"
Tim Rickson Sports Agent
“We have all watched Taylor grow into the talent he is now. The way that he got rid of bitter rival Ohara Davies was such a big statement at the time and he continues to push the boundaries of his capability to face tougher tests to get to that world title, which is in touching distance should he come through this fight successfully.
Postol is fine boxer, he was the first to stop the demolition machine that is Lucas Matthysse in 2015 to win the WBC world super-lightweight title, the very same belt that both fighters are trying to lay their hands on.
Pound-for-pound kingpin Terence Crawford completely outboxed ‘The Iceman’ in their unification fight in 2016, which remains his only career defeat,
I am not comparing the two fighters in any way here, but I fancy Josh’s skills as a boxer to do the same kind of number on Postol that Crawford did.
I expect Josh to win every round on the way to either a points win or a stoppage in the championship rounds.”
Joseph Siza BBN Writer
“Great fight and excellent matchmaking. Whilst this is Taylor's toughest test yet, it is a fight I 100 per cent believe he will win and then go on to participating in next season's 140lbs world boxing super series.
Taylor is one of the best prospects on these shores and will make a statement on Saturday night – Taylor late stoppage.”
Sergio Michel American guitarist, songwriter and actor
“Josh Taylor has concussive power in his right hand. He can move well and knows how to control range. However, Viktor Postol has a granite chin and is an effective pressure fighter.
Postol always moving forward cancels Taylor’s range control and his granite chin cancels out Taylor’s power. However, I think Taylor wins via UD on points because of his boxing ability and volume. Postol has been outboxed before easily and does not turn up his power and volume until he's too far behind on points.
The Scotsman by a hard-fought UD. This fight is tailor-made for Taylor, pun intended!”
Ray Askew Boxing Trainer
"I'm going for a late stoppage from Taylor from round-eight onwards.
I think Postol might struggle with Taylor's slick southpaw style, but he will remain dangerous throughout and can't be written off."
Niall Doran Boxing News & Views
“Brave move putting him in with Postol at this stage but also a refreshing one, shows the faith they have in their young fighter. Nice to see a prospect being put in there against such stiff opposition early on. It's fights like this, win or lose, that Taylor will learn a lot from.
Taylor seems to be the type of guy who rises to the occasion and boxes to the level of opposition in front of him. That said, while I expect him to fight to his best, it's still a very, very tough fight.
Kudos to all involved in making the fight – Taylor by close points decision.”
Chris Cornelius BBN Writer
“For me this is a very interesting fight and great match making by McGuigan’s Cyclone Promotions.
Ever since losing to Terence Crawford back in July 2016, Viktor Postol has only fought once in September 2017 facing at the time an undefeated 14-0 Uzbekistan fighter Jamshidbek Najmiddinov. Despite winning the fight it was clear that Postol had spent too much time out of the ring as a result of his lacklustre performance. Najmiddinov was landing eye catching shots on Postol and also scored a knock down. Many observers believed the decision win for Postol was a controversial one, so it wasn’t a victory to say that ‘The Iceman’ was back.
On the other hand you have an undefeated 12-0 fighter in Josh Taylor, who has kept busy in the ring and fought seven times since Postol lost to Crawford. Taylor has been looking impressive in his bouts which resulted in him getting elevated to the number 2 spot in the WBC super light-weight ranking in a short amount of fights. Taylor is also more of an accomplished boxer than Jamshidbek Najmiddinov in just 12 professional fights having captured the Commonwealth super-lightweight title and WBC Silver super-lightweight title. Najmiddinov was able to get to Postol so there’s no doubt that Taylor could get to him too.
Boxing is seen as a ‘What Have You Done for Me Lately’ sport, therefore Josh Taylor will be coming into this fight with huge confidence knowing that victory will take him closer a world title fight with WBC light-welterweight champion Jose Ramirez. Whereas, Viktor Postol will be coming into the fight knowing that his performance will have to improve significantly since his last fight to get the win.
Due to these factors, I don’t give Postol very good odds of beating Taylor on Saturday 23rd June 2018. I believe that Postol should have had more tune-up fights leading up to this bout with Josh Taylor to give him a better chance of winning. I think his ring rust will show again but this time it will be against a more polished boxer who will be able to get the job done. So, I have Josh Taylor winning the fight by either a unanimous decision or late stoppage.”
Jack Jacobs Sports Agent
"I would have to go with Josh Taylor on this one, a hard fight but I think it's come at a good time. Postol won't be the same boxer he was a a couple of years back, with the ring rust and Taylor's ability, I see a points win for Taylor in a tough encounter."
George Lacey Sky Sports Digital Producer
"Josh Taylor has already marked Edinburgh Castle as the venue to defend his world titles, if and when he gets a shot at the gold.
In his way next is former world super-lightweight champion Viktor Postol, who's only defeat in 30 fights was at the hands of the division's king-pin - Terence Crawford.
It's been argued that this fight is high-risk and too soon for Taylor, though his early promise has already shown that he's a level above his recent opponents. Is he of that elite, world class level? We'll find out Saturday night and I think he may be ready to prove himself on the biggest stage.
11 men have been stopped by Taylor and I'm fancying yet another KO win in favour of the Scot - eighth-round stoppage."