Edgar Berlanga: Don’t Blink
By: Hans Themistode
Before any boxing match officially begins, a bell rings. It signifies the beginning of any showdown. Like most events, fans that have already gotten comfortable in their seats spend the next few seconds getting settled in. Whether that means using the bathroom one last time or answering one last text, varies from person to person. Missing the first few seconds of action is inconsequential for the most part.
Yet, in the case of super middleweight prospect Edgar Berlanga, those precious seconds is all that he typically needs once he enters the ring.
For the 23-year-old Bronx, New York product, life as a professional boxer has been harmful to the health of his opponents. Through 15 fights, not only is he undefeated with all 15 of those wins coming via stoppage, but he’s also managed to end his nights without seeing the second round.
When promoting his fights, his knockout power has been his selling point. But while he never seems surprised when body after body drops to the canvas, the moment the lights go out and he has time to reflect, all he can do is shake his head and look up towards the Heavens.
“Man It’s crazy,” said Berlanga to Fight Hype when asked if he can believe his 15 straight first-round knockouts. “Some days I’m in the gym or I’m just thinking and I’m like shit, first round? That’s hard, that’s not easy. If it was easy then everyone would be doing it. I’m just blessed from the man above, my lord and savior Jesus Christ. He blessed me with a punch and I’m just riding with it man.”
The road to success for a blue-chip prospect is usually charted out the same. Start him out slow, allow him to face a few no-hopers to build his confidence and allow him to grow. For Berlanga though, he hasn’t exactly faced the normal soft touches that are associated with a young prospect’s career.
After facing fighters making their pro debuts in three of his first four contests, Berlanga’s level of opposition has promptly increased. In just the seventh fight of his career, Berlanga faced journeymen Jaime Barboza. In no way has he ever been considered a championship caliber fighter but he has pushed several prospects such as former super middleweight champion Gilberto Ramirez throughout the course of a ten-round fight.
For Berlanga though, a shade over two minutes was all that he needed to put his lights out. It’s matchups against the likes of Barboza, along with his December 12th co-main event opponent in Ulises Sierra, a man who has never been dropped, let alone stopped in his pro career, that gives Berlanga the confidence to pontificate about his work in the ring.
“If you look at the guys that I fought they fought tough guys and went the distance with world champions and the people that we’re in the top ten. Numbers don’t lie. Dudes that they throw in there with me that have never been knocked out and I just blow them out of the box.”
The power that he’s put on display may place him as a consistent guest on ESPN’s top ten list, but it isn’t exactly what he’s concerned about. At some point in time, Berlanga will hit an opponent and not only will they refuse to fall but they will also fight back.
That however, isn’t something that he’s dreading. Nor is he wondering how he will react in that situation. For the 23-year-old, he believes that the power that he holds is just the tip of the iceberg.
“I can box man. I have beautiful boxing skills and beautiful IQ skills. The world is waiting to see and they’re going to see.”
If you were to ask Berlanga at this very moment if he believes he is ready for a world title, he will admittedly tell you he isn’t there just yet. But in terms of if he believes he should be considered prospect of the year, all he could do is smile as he gave his answer.
“Abso fucking lutely.”