By Keith Idec
While watching Jermell Charlo two weeks ago, Errol Spence Jr. couldn’t help but think his friend and frequent sparring partner was pressing too much to knock out Austin Trout.
Charlo dropped the tough Trout twice, once apiece in the third and ninth rounds, but settled for a majority-decision win at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Houston’s Charlo (31-0, 15 KOs) beat Trout on two scorecards (118-108, 115-111), but their 12-rounder was even on one scorecard (113-113).
“His performance was good,” Spence told a group of reporters following a press conference in Frisco, Texas. “Me, personally, I thought he was trying too hard for the knockout. You know, if he just let it come, I think he would’ve got him out of there. But I think he was trying hard for the knockout. But he looked good, though. I mean, nobody really hurt Trout like that.
“I mean, Trout fought Hurd tougher than that. Like Trout really tried to come at Hurd. But, I mean, he did good. He had Trout fleeing. Much respect to Trout, man. That guy done fought seven or eight world champions and top-level opponents. So much respect to that guy for doing his thing, but Jermell’s just a stronger, younger and hungrier fighter right then and there.”
Jarrett Hurd remains the only opponent to stop Trout inside the distance. Hurd won their October 14 bout by technical knockout when Trout decided not to leave his corner for the 11th round at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Hurd (22-0, 15 KOs), of Accokeek, Maryland, and Charlo each emphasized after Charlo’s win Saturday night that they want to fight each other next.
The 27-year-old Hurd, who defeated Cuba’s Erislandy Lara (25-3-2, 14 KOs) by split decision April 7 in Las Vegas, owns the IBF, IBO and WBA 154-pound championships. Charlo, 28, is the WBC’s super welterweight champ.
“That’s good,” Spence said. “That’s what the fight fans wanna see. That’s what more fighters should do. I mean, Jermell wants the fight. Jarrett Hurd wants the fight. And that’s what it’s about. And now they’re hyping up the fight. It’s a fight that can be made. Both on the same network, both have the same manager, so I’m sure it’s gonna happen.
“It’s in talks and that’s gonna be a big fight. And, you know, kudos to them because now they’re really unifying the division and trying to become undisputed, and trying to become great. So that’s good.”
Spence (24-0, 21 KOs), of DeSoto, Texas, made a mandatory defense of his IBF welterweight title with a first round knockout of Mexico’s Carlos Ocampo (22-1, 13 KOs) last Saturday night in the Ford Center at The Star, the Dallas Cowboys’ training facility.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.