By: Hans Themistode
Everything was going according to plan for Edgar Berlanga…right until it wasn’t.
The highly touted super middleweight prospect built a name for himself through his sheer power, resulting in his first 16 contests ending in the very first round. Although Berlanga’s streak came to an end against Demond Nicholson, he pounded his man while scoring several knockdowns on the night.
However, during Berlanga’s most recent ring appearance, he found himself in a real fight. On October 9th, 2021, Berlanga strolled to the ring as a sizable favorite against Marcelo Esteban Coceres. Even with Berlanga dominating most of the action, Coceres had his moments, including in the ninth where he dropped his much younger opponent.
Shortly after Berlanga’s name was called to the winner’s circle, it was revealed that he fought on a torn left bicep for much of the night. Considering the severity of the injury, and tasting the canvas for the first time in his young career, Berlanga was visibly frustrated with himself. That said, as he prepares to re-enter the ring this Saturday night against Steve Rolls at Madison Square Garden, Berlanga is looking back on his trying time against Coceres with appreciation.
“I needed that for my career,” said Berlanga during a recent press conference. “I needed that adversity. Every fighter goes through that in their career. I knew I was going to make it out of that adversity because having a torn bicep in the third round and fighting seven rounds like that, a lot of fighters would’ve quit. We took it how it came and now we’re here and ready for Saturday.”
Madison Square Garden represents a harrowing venue for the Canadian Rolls. In his lone trip through those famed doors, Rolls suffered the first and only loss of his career. In June of 2019, Rolls was steamrolled at the hands of Gennadiy Golovkin, succumbing to his sickening power in the fourth round. Berlanga, of course, would love nothing more than to outdo Golovkin and push Rolls into the New York streets, courtesy of a violent early knockout.
Still, while Berlanga is normally loquacious before stepping into the ring, he refrained from making any bold claims. Instead, the 24-year-old is just hoping to give the crowd something to cheer about.
“I don’t like to predict nothing but he’s a tough veteran, he’s been in there with the best. I’m just looking forward to putting on a show. Fireworks like always.”
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