RAY BELTRAN knows a boxing talent when he sees one. The Mexican had been a Manny Pacquiao sparring partner for a decade. After 12 hard rounds with Terence Crawford he believes the man from Oklahoma is destined to become one of the sport’s superstars.

“Crawford is a very smart fighter, very smart. He starts touching, touching but he’s studying your style, studying your distance, studying where you are, you know. You’re working, working and he’s studing. He’s a smart guy. I didn’t really feel uncomfortable with him. I think I did a good job,” Betran told Boxing News.

But he added, “Especially the last two rounds, I feel he kind of took over. He managed the distance, his reach. If I moved one inch forward, he moved one inch back. He’s got the perfect movement at the right moment. He was just – boom, catches you. But he can punch. I had to be careful because if I made a mistake he made me pay… He can catch you, make you pay and knock you out.

“He’s just so talented. He’s the smartest guy that I’ve fought.

“He had the level. He will become better and better with time. I think he’s got what it takes to become a superstar. He’s a superstar in the making right now.”

Don’t miss this week’s issue of Boxing News for a special feature on Ray Beltran