Home Boxing News Edgar Berlanga remains unbeaten, keeps dreams of Canelo Alvarez fight alive

Edgar Berlanga remains unbeaten, keeps dreams of Canelo Alvarez fight alive

Edgar Berlanga (right) and Padraig McCrory. Photo credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing

Super middleweight contender Edgar ‘The Chosen One’ Berlanga 22-0 (17) scored his first knockout victory in more than three years when he stopped Padraig ‘The Hammer’ McCrory 18-1 (9) in the sixth round at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida on Saturday night.

The 26-year-old American of Puerto Rican descent began his career with a remarkable run of 16 straight first-round knockout win before being taken the distance in his next five bouts.

That changed against Ireland’s McCrory, 35, who was game but ultimately outclassed.

The first few rounds of the bout were slow-paced as Berlanga seemed to be overthinking his offence, but once he found his rhythm and range his power came to the fore.

It wasn’t all plain sailing for Berlanga, however. In the third round he threw what appeared to be an intentional elbow and more than once strayed low below the belt, but referee Christopher Young failed to pull him up on his infractions, clearly frustrating McCrory and his team.

Berlanga got on top of McCrory in the fourth and went on with things in the fifth before delivering the coupe de grace in the sixth, a right hand to the jaw that sent the visitor sprawling to the canvas.

As he was struggling to his feet, McCrory’s corner wisely threw in the towel to prevent their man from sustaining any further punishment.

Berlanga explained away the slow start in his post-fight interview.

“I wanted to see what I’m receiving,” he said. “I didn’t just want to be an offensive fighter. I want to work on my defensive side first.

“People don’t understand, Irish motherfuckers are strong and he came to fight.”

Undisputed super middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 60-2-2 (39) typically fights twice a year in May and September. He is yet to announce an opponent for his next fight and speculation is rampant about who he will select.

Earlier this month the 33-year-old Mexican superstar said his next opponent would be an American, somewhat narrowing the field.

The opponent most fans and pundits would like to see across the ring from him is Phoenix, Arizona’s David Benavidez 28-0 (24) although that fight seems like a longshot at best.

Other names in the mix include WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo 33-0 (22) and former undisputed junior welterweight and welterweight world champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford 40-0 (31).

Berlanga would seem an outside chance at best, but he said he would be ready “1000 percent” if the opportunity came his way to face Alvarez in May.

Promoter Eddie Hearn said it was not a matter of if, but when the fight happens.

“It’s only a matter of time,” the Matchroom Boxing boss said. “Puerto Rico against Mexico — that will be a huge event — Edgar Berlanga against Canelo Alvarez. And listen, maybe there is one more [fight for Berlanga before facing Alvarez], but I’ll tell you now… if the call came, he wouldn’t back down.”

He added: “[Berlanga] wouldn’t run around the ring to try to survive for 12 rounds. He’d stand and fight with Canelo Alvarez. He’d give the fans a great, great fight and that’s what people want to see.”

Berlanga was out to sell the fight too.

“Boxing needs that,” he said. “They need a Puerto Rican star versus a Mexican star. That’s what boxing needs. That would be the biggest fight of this year.”