On Saturday night i had the honour of watching a fantastic fight when Josh Taylor took on Viktor Postol in a WBC Final Eliminator at the fantastic SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow , an arena where some of the £40 seats are the best in the house . There are some issues i am going to get out the way first about this show before we get to the good stuff ……and then i will have my say about ” That Judging ” .
I have been to quite a few Cyclone Promotion shows now in Glasgow and Edinburgh to see Josh Taylor . Cyclone obviously try to emulate the tried and tested Matchroom structure when putting a show together , looking to make sure the the audience enjoy the show as much as the fights . On Saturday i they got it all wrong with the undercard . It was expected the talented Chantelle Cameron may be chief support with other Cyclone fighters like Martin Bakole and Lee McGregor opening the TV segment of the show , but that wasn’t the case . As i arrived at the Arena around 7.40PM I walked into Tommy Philbin scoring a first round KO , as i took my seat It was announced that there would be no more fights until the show went live at 8.30PM, something i found rather strange . More strangely it was brought to my attention that Martin Bakole and Chantelle Cameron had already fought earlier on in the evening in what must have been an empty Arena as it there was still loads of empty seats by the time i arrived . I have spoke to Billy Nelson who is trying his very best to build Bakole a fanbase and he was not best pleased about this . Instead taking up prime time slots was a girl making her professional debut and popular youngster Gary Rae , who did have a big following with him , but he must have been shocked when he was told he was Chief support in a six rounder .
Now i have got that out the way lets get to the good stuff ….
Some people had suggested to me that Postol was not the fighter he once was . Some thought that Terrance Crawford had took to much out of Postol in his only loss and he wouldn’t be able to operate at the same level as Taylor …..I was not one of these people . I said in my Preview for this fight that if you let Postol dictate the range in the ring he will pick you apart and it was clear from early in this fight that Josh Taylor was finding it hard to close the gap . Postol uses his incredibly long arms brilliantly to catch opponents when they think they are out of range as Taylor found out right from round one when Postol caught Taylor with a fantastic shot to the body , right then Taylor must have known he was in for a very tough night . (Round 1 Postol)
Right from the start of round two Taylor came out a bit more aggressive , getting inside more in the first 30 seconds of round two than he did for the whole of round one . Taylor was ducking down low to get inside Postol and having some success to the body . Postol never looked panicked at any point in this round and just used his experience , looking to land meaningful shots , but knowing the round was probably in the bag for Taylor , Postol just kept it sensible . (Round 2 Taylor)
Round three was a fantastic round for both boxers , both countering each others attacks , both landing big shots and both showing each other that fire will be met fire . Josh Taylor was also using an old pro’s trick by bringing the head in into play aswell which was making it imperative for Postol to keep Taylor on the outside where he was the stronger of the two . This round was very close round to call . (Round 3 Taylor )
Just before the fourth round got started you could hear Shane McGuigan tell Taylor to stop looking for the big shots , instructing him to make his last shot the power punch , not the first shot , i think Taylor’s corner knew this fight was going to won in thew last three rounds , not the first three . In the fourth round Postol had found his range again and was doing well keeping Taylor on the outside again . Postol was throwing jabs in two’s and then following his punches in forcing Taylor to spin off without landing anything meaningful . In Taylor had some success in the previus rounds switching from southpaw to orthodox but Postol was now going on the front foot anytime Taylor tried to switch , very smart boxing . (Round 4 Postol )
In the fifth round Viktor Postol upped his workrate again landing big right hands to Taylor’s body continually , a beautiful shot which Postol hides behind his jab . As the round went on Postol became more dominant and at this point it really did look as if the tide had turned in favour of Postol . ( Round 5 Postol) .
This really was a round of two halves . Postol came out and picked up from where left off in the previous round , peppering Taylor with jabs and keeping the fight at range . Going into the last minute of the round Taylor catches Postol with a fantastic uppercut which stunned the big Ukrainian which Taylor exploited for the ret of the round . ( Round 6 Taylor )
Taylor came out in the seventh clearly upping the pace catching Postol with some lovely shots including his trademark lead right hook over the top . At halfway in the round you got the feeling that Taylor may just be leaving himself a bit to open and that proved right when Postol caught him with a beautiful short uppercut which hurt Taylor . Josh went into to survival mode looking to tie up and stay out of range but Postol managed to land another three lovely big right hands , but Taylor seen the round out . ( Round 7 Postol )
For the first two minutes of this round Josh Taylor didn’t throw to much whilst Postol was picking his shots well , especially his body work . Despite a late flurry at the end of the round by Taylor it was a fairly convincing round for Viktor Postol . ( Round 8 Postol)
Going into the ninth round i though maybe Taylor was struggling mentally and this fight was on the verge of getting away from him , so that made it all the more impressive when Josh Taylor cam out and had his best round of the fight so far . Right from the off Taylor was getting inside a lot easier than he had the rest of the fight and once he was there he was making Postol pay . He did have Postol hurt but had the street smarts not to go chasing the the stoppage as this guy was tough and the last thing Taylor needed was to gas . ( Round 9 Taylor )
Going into the tenth Shane McGiugan had told Taylor he was the fight the full three minutes of the rest of the rounds and that’s exactly how he fought in the tenth . Postol seemed to have slowed a bit now and punches which he was catching Taylor were now missing the mark . Josh just wouldn’t keep off Postol and in the last 20 seconds Taylor feints to Postol’s body and Postol go’s to throw a counter jab , literally two seconds later Taylor look’s to like he is going to go to the body with his right but instead throws a massive left hook which sent Postol to the canvas , a fantastic bit of skill from Taylor . Massive round for Josh Taylor . ( Round 10 Taylor 10/8 due to knockdown)
This was another fascinating round as Postol came out and fought fire with fire but Josh was just that bit quicker and had more venom on his punches . Postol was landing some nice combinations but Taylor answered them with more big shot . Live at the arena i gave this round to Postol but after watching it back i’ve changed to a Taylor round . ( Round 11 Taylor )
Postol needed a massive round here and he just didn’t have it left in him . Taylor had found his rythme and was boxing beautifully . Postol wasn’t helped when he came off second best when there was a nasty head knock . Just like Postol did against Terrence Crawford he never gave up , but just like against Crawford he lost out to a more skilful boxer . ( Round 12 Taylor ) live at the show 114-115 …watch back 113-116 both for Taylor
So we are all sitting in suspense at the arena , where watching it live i had Taylor up by one round with the knockdown being vital . So then the scores are read out
” Judge Victor Laughlan 118-110 , Fernando Barbosa 117-110 , Eddie Pappoe 119-108 ”
That is judging that wouldn’t be out of place at OJ Simpson trial , god awful and so disrespectful to Viktor Postol who put up a great fight and came so close to an upset . He pushed Josh Taylor in ways he had never been pushed before , Josh Taylor probably found something out about himself on Saturday night and that was all due to the fight Viktor Potol put up . It is all to often becoming the case here in the UK that judges are scoring fights way off how they should be scored and something must be done about it . Ask yourself this would you bring a world title to the UK with how fights seem to be scored in they country ? .