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Edgar Berlanga Has Something To Prove Saturday

Edgar Berlanga Suspended/Fined By New York Commission
Mikey Williams- Top Rank

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Edgar Berlanga Has Something To Prove Saturday

Coming up Saturday night NABO super middleweight champion Edgar Berlanga takes center stage against two-time title challenge Alexis Angulo in the Top Rank Boxing main event at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

And, the unbeaten Berlanga is aware that he needs a big showing with the opportunity to headline on ESPN. Thursday he and the veteran Angulo met the media for the final time prior to their scheduled 10 round bout,

Berlanga, born in Brooklyn and whose family hails from Puerto Rico, takes the top spot on the eve of New York’s Puerto Rican Day Parade. A popular ticket-seller with fearsome knockout power, Berlanga (19-0, 16 KOs) hopes a win over the crafty Colombian gets him closer to a world title shot.

The winner of this fight will be the first recipient of Madison Square Garden’s “Miguel Cotto Trophy.” Puerto Rican icon Cotto, who is being inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame this weekend, headlined five MSG fight nights on the eve of the Puerto Rican Day Parade. The four-division world champion Cotto, from Caguas, will be ringside Saturday night.

“I’m excited. It’s Puerto Rican Day {Parade} Weekend. {The first one} since the pandemic, two years. I’ve been dreaming about this since I was a kid,” Berlanga said. “I feel like I spoke it into existence. My hard work paid off and now we’re here.”

“To be honest, my team and Top Rank felt like he was the perfect opponent for Puerto Rican Day Weekend. He’s the type of fighter that comes forward. Hopefully, he does that this Saturday. He’s a tough, rugged fighter. He makes it look ugly, comes forward. He has power just like me. He’s powerful, so it’s going to be an amazing night. And I’m excited to perform on Puerto Rican Day Weekend.”

Berlanga is well aware that there are questions about his power, despite 16 consecutive KOs in the first round to start his career. He’s now had  three straight fights, against better competition, without a KO.

“It’s part of the process. I’m young, 25 years old. What can I say? I have 16 first-round knockouts, so I didn’t really gain the experience I needed. Definitely, these last three fights, I got the experience I needed. That’s the most important thing to make yourself a real professional athlete. But not only that, at that top level, you need those rounds. You need that feeling of what it’s like to get in the eighth, 10th round, and we got that done.”

As for Angulo, he’s 27-2, but was beaten in August 2020 on TKO stoppage by David Benavidez and previously on a decision by now top light heavyweight contener, Zurdo Ramirez in June of 2018.

In the eight-round co-feature of this all-Puerto Rican card, Henry Lebron (15-0, 10 KOs) and Luis Lebron (18-3-1, 11 KOs) will battle for the vacant WBO Latino junior lightweight belt. This fight was elevated to the co-feature after junior middleweight sensation Xander Zayas dropped out of his bout with a viral infection.

Berlanga-Angulo and Lebron-Lebron will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT.

A veteran broadcaster of over 25 years, T.J. has been a fight fan longer than that! He’s the host of the “Big Fight Weekend” podcast and will go “toe to toe” with anyone who thinks that Marvin Hagler beat Sugar Ray Leonard or that Tyson, Lennox Lewis or Deontay Wilder could have beaten Ali!

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