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Max Boxing – News – Edgar Berlanga now 20 for 20

Berlanga 20 for 20 photo by Top Rank

Saturday night, at New York’s Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theatre, things kicked off in what will be a busy week for the Top Rank Boxing staff with cards scheduled for Saturday (June 11) with Edgar Berlanga and next Saturday (June 18), with a scheduled bomb-fest between New York’s Joe Smith Jr and Canada’s Artur Beterbiev.

WBC and IBF light heavyweight champion Beterbiev who comes in at 17-0 with 17 KOs against Long Island’s WBO champion Smith Jr. who is no slouch in the power department at 28-3, (22 KO’s). But, first things first. Saturday night in NYC.

On the eve of the Puerto Rican Day parade, (now a June tradition for Top Rank, who kicked it off years ago with some memorable Miguel Cotto shows), it was live action from the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. Also, a new tradition was being started Saturday night as Top Rank was introducing the Miguel Cotto Award. The honor will be given to the winner of each main event on Puerto Rican Day weekend (starting Saturday night). Cotto, a massively popular former Top Rank fighter, was ringside Saturday.

Edgar “The Chosen One” Berlanga was in the top slot in the super middleweight, 10-round, main event defending his NABO belt. He wasn’t getting a walk in the park in two-time world challenger Alexis Angulo who comes in at 27-2, (23 KO’s).

Berlanga, (20-0, 16 KOs), kicked off his pro run with 16 consecutive first-round knockouts. However, probably for the better, he has gone the distance in his last 3 outings. Berlanga knows that a win, over the experienced, rugged Angulo, inches him that much closer to a world title shot one day. In reality, he probably needs some development in tough, longer fights to best prepare for a world title shot. Indeed, outings like this one against an experienced guy like Angulo, who has faced David Benavidez and Gilberto Ramirez, among others, are vital to his development of him.

Saturday night, it was 4 straight distance fights for Berlanga. He showed patience and at times a very good jab, but he had a tough, motivated veteran in front of him who, despite struggling to make weight, showed heart and good stamina. While Berlanga did try to light up Angulo on a few occasions, looking to land his hard right hand from him, to the delight of the loud and raucous crowd, he was not able to get him out of there. By the end of the fight, Berlanga, who did hear a few boos from a restless crowd (as the fight progressed), was bloodied and banged up. However, he did control a lot of the action and did more than enough to win by scores of 98-92 and 99-91 x 2.

The ESPN team was hard on Berlanga after the fight for the attempted bite on the shoulder/neck to his opponent who claimed he was elbowing him. After the fight, he didn’t deny the bite in a post-fight interview, and this drew the ire of the Joe Tessitore and Mark Kreigel.

Berlanga speaks quite confidently of wanting to be the next Puerto Rican star in the sport, and there is indeed a large, supportive Puerto Rican audience waiting to support him. While Saturday night wasn’t the exciting performance fans may have been hoping for, Berlanga did get his 20th win and went some valuable rounds in the process.

Undercard Results

Junior Welterweight Dakota Linger (13-5-3, 9 KO’s) TKO 2 Josue “The Prodigy” Vargas (20-3, 9 KO’s)

Junior lightweight Henry Lebron (16-0, 10 KO’s) UD 8 Luis Lebron (18-4-1, 11 KO’s).

Junior featherweights Victor Santillan (12-0, 4 KO’s) UD 8 Carlos “Purin” Caraballo (15-1, 14 KO’s)

Lightweight Armani Almestica TKO6 Eliseo Villalobos

Super Lightweight Featherweight Orlando Gonzalez TKO5 Pablo Cruz

Super lightweight Omar Rosario W6 Julio Pink

Lightweight Frevian Gonzalez W4 Refugio Montellano

Flyweight Christina Cruz W4 Maryguenn Vellinga

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