Josh Taylor beats Viktor Postol on points to move closer to world title shot
Josh Taylor won a unanimous points decision against Viktor Postol to successfully defend his WBC silver super-lightweight title in Glasgow.
But the Scot was made to work hard in the toughest test of his 13-fight career to preserve his unbeaten record.
Taylor, 27, came under pressure in the seventh round but put the durable Ukrainian down at the end of the 10th.
Taylor finished the stronger as the three judges scored it 118-110, 117-110 and 119-108 in his favour.
He could now be in line for a shot at the WBC world super-lightweight crown, with American Jose Carlos Ramirez poised for possibly one more optional fight before a mandatory defence.
Taylor admitted he was surprised by the quality of Postol, whose only previous defeat in 30 fights came against three-weight world champion Terence Crawford.
"I was getting caught early on and had to adopt," said the Scot, from Prestonpans in East Lothian. "Once I started relaxing I started to get going.
"I'm happy with with performance, it maybe wasn't the best performance, but I take a lot of positives, given it was a top-drawer opponent.
"He hurt me in the seventh round, and I had to adjust to his game plan. But despite that I felt great. I knew I could do 12 rounds, I knew that wouldn't be a problem.
"I'm on the verge of my dream of fighting for a world title. That was playing on my mind a bit in the build-up, but I felt I dealt with it well.
"I started poorly - I was trying a wee bit too hard in the early rounds, it took time to start relaxing, but I adapted."
There was little to separate the fighters in the opening two rounds, with neither able to gain an edge.
But in round three, with a noisy and partisan crowd behind him at the Hydro, Taylor landed with a clean left hook of real power to rock Postol.
The Scot kept his experienced opponent, 34, on his toes with an energetic performance but it remained a close contest.
Postol used all his experience in the seventh as he landed with a couple of right hands to Taylor's chin which rattled the Scot.
The momentum swung to and fro with both fighters scoring well in the ninth, Taylor twice landing cleanly on Postol's jaw. But if the Ukrainian was hurt, he wasn't showing it.
The pressure paid off in the closing seconds of the 10th though as a left hook from Taylor sent Postol crashing to the canvas. He clambered back up after a count of eight, but was grateful for the solace of his corner.
The Ukrainian fought back valiantly in the next, however, to ensure the fight went to a final round, but Taylor finished the stronger.
The margin on the judges' scorecards was perhaps a surprise, but with 13 wins from 13 - 11 by knock-out - Taylor appears poised for a world title shot in the near future.
"He won on a bad night," said his "absolutely thrilled" promoter Barry McGuigan, the former featherweight world champion.
"Very few fighters can made adjustments in the middle of a fight, that takes something special. He's shown that he's a world-class fighter tonight.
"I knew Viktor Postol wasn't over the hill as some said; he was a very dangerous opponent. We knew the risk involved in this fight. But Josh performance incredibly well.
"The points decision should have been closer, but it was a terrific fight."
Earlier, Edinburgh boxer Lee McGregor won his first professional title, in his fourth fight, when the 21-year-old beat Tanzanian Goodluck Mrema to claim the IBF world youth bantamweight title.