Ahead of his upcoming clash with fellow 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.
Describe your relationship with Freddie Roach. How much has Freddie Roach helped you?
“When I first met Freddie Roach in his gym in Hollywood I saw a man who was fully committed to his job. I saw that this was the job of his entire life. He lived in and lived for boxing. No matter how many people are in the gym training, Freddie always finds time for everyone to give advice and correct something for somebody. The same was in my case as he always put his heart and soul into my training as a boxer and anyone can see the result of our working together.
“Freddie has always believed in me and given me his full and undivided attention, even in our first training camp in the Philippines where Manny was training for his fight against Chris Algieri. He allowed me to spar with Manny and when it was my time to train after Manny had left the gym, he gave me 110% of his attention. It has always been that way. He gives me confidence and teaches me many things. He is a wonderful teacher and I am lucky to be his student. He has had me work a lot on the small things because details are important. That has turned me into a stronger professional fighter. We are a great team.
“I called Viktor my favorite Russian fighter after he knocked out Matthysse to win the world title and he corrected me and told me he’s from the Ukraine. I have the utmost respect for him as a person and as a fighter. He works hard every day. He’s always on time. He listens and then he practices what we work on for hours. He has developed into a great student of the sport both mentally and physically.
“When someone like Viktor comes in daily and gives you everything in the gym you cannot help but root for him. We have total trust in each other. I was so happy for him when he knocked out Matthysse to win the world title. Viktor deserved it. I have been in the game a long time but the night Viktor became world champion was one of the greatest victories of my training career. But I think Viktor’s performance on July 23 will surpass that.
“We have a solid game plan for Crawford. We are going right at him from the opening bell. This is a real 50-50 fight. The best man will win and the loser will go back to Nebraska.”
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.