By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Based on what Glenn Rushton witnessed from his ringside seat Saturday night, he can’t envision Errol Spence Jr. beating Terence Crawford.
The highly skilled, intelligent Crawford battered the former champion Rushton trains, Jeff Horn, until referee Robert Byrd understandably stopped their fight at 2:33 of the ninth round.
Now that Crawford owns the WBO welterweight title and has established himself within the 147-pound division, Crawford-Spence is one of the fights fans want to watch most.
The 28-year-old Spence (23-0, 20 KOs), of DeSoto, Texas, is scheduled to make a mandatory defense of his IBF welterweight title against Mexico’s Carlos Ocampo (22-0, 13 KOs) on Saturday night in Frisco, Texas (Showtime).
“Personally, my opinion is Terence Crawford is better than Errol Spence,” Rushton said during the post-fight press conference at MGM Grand. “He’s got a more complete skill set than Errol Spence Jr. And that’s taking nothing away. I think Errol Spence Jr. is a terrific boxer, but I don’t think he has the complete skill set that Terence Crawford has. Terence Crawford has all the skills, he certainly does. And as I say, yeah, I do think he’s a superior boxer.”
Dean Lonergan, Horn’s promoter, quickly added, “Having said that, Spence is a hell of a fighter as well and he’s a terror in the division. There’s no argument. Not too many guys wanna step up to the plate with him.”
The 5-feet-9½ Spence is more than an inch taller than the 30-year-old Crawford (33-0, 24 KOs), a three-division champion from Omaha, Nebraska. Rushton also considers Spence the harder puncher.
If they fight, though, Rushton would expect the versatile Crawford to figure out a way to out-box Spence.
“In my opinion, Errol Spence is a bigger puncher than Terence Crawford,” Rushton said. “I think he throws more heavier punches. Whereas Terence Crawford can pull the trigger, but he’s more of a sharpshooter. And if he really unloads, he stands and unloads. But unfortunately, when he does that he’s also left a little bit vulnerable. We couldn’t quite exploit that tonight, which is a shame.
“But certainly, I do think that Terence Crawford would beat – right where they stand, right now, if they were to fight in the next fight – I believe, personally, that Terence Crawford would be a little bit too slick for Errol Spence Jr. That’s just my humble opinion.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.