Postol, Roach recall world title win over Matthysse
Ahead of his upcoming clash with WBO champion Terence Crawford, WBC super lightweight title holder Viktor Postol and trainer Freddie Roach discuss the unification fight that takes place on July 23 the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Tell us about your fight with Matthysse and what that victory meant to you.
“The fight with Matthysse was my most challenging because it was my first world championship fight and I was fighting for the title against one of the strongest punchers in the division. The importance of this fight for my career and my life was not lost on me. It was all I thought about during training camp at Wild Card. It’s all I ever wanted since I started boxing in a gym outside Kiev as a 12-year-old boy.
“I followed Freddie’s game plan from beginning to end. Even the last combination I landed — right uppercut, left hook — we worked on daily. It was a reflex to throw them when he charged in at me. He was perfect for that punch.
“Freddie Roach had me well prepared for that fight. My trainers made me a champion and helped me realize a dream I have had for a very long time. Every time I look at that green belt I will think of Freddie and everyone at Wild Card who helped me become a champion. I loved showing it off to all my friends, family members and fans in Ukraine. I am very proud to represent my country as a world champion.”
“It was a very good performance. We were in charge of the fight the whole time. Viktor followed the game plan perfectly. I remember before the last round I told our corner that Matthysse was very tired and ready to go out. He was coming in with his head leaning down.
“We told Viktor, ‘Now is the time for a right uppercut and a left hook. Viktor took him out when he was ready to take him out. He is a good student of the game. Viktor deserved that victory. I’ve never had a fighter work harder in training camp than he did. I was so happy for him when the fight was stopped.
“I just knew that a lot of doors would be opening for him now that he was a world champion and because of how he won that fight. This was, really, one of the greatest wins of my career.”
The HBO Sports Special, Terence Crawford: My Fight, debuts Saturday, July 9 at 12:15 a.m. on HBO.
Crawford vs. Postol takes place Saturday, July 23 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.