By: Hans Themistode
Tim Bradley anxiously awaited Edgar Berlanga’s trip to the ring. The former two-division world titlist was none too pleased with Berlanga’s previous performance. Just five months ago, Berlanga failed to impress as he took on fringe contender Marcelo Esteban Coceres.
In addition to Berlanga being forced to go the distance for only the second time in his career, the hard-hitting super middleweight prospect was sent crashing down to the canvas before eking out a close unanimous decision.
Regardless of his lackluster efforts, Bradley was left even more disappointed by Berlanga’s recent showing. Late last night, in front of a jam-packed crowd in Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater, Berlanga scraped by veteran journeymen, Steve Rolls.
As Berlanga sauntered his way through his hometown crowd, he was accompanied by hip hop star Fat Joe, as notable musical artists such as Fabulous, Maino, Remy Ma, Papoose, Dave East, and Jim Jones rooted him on from the sidelines.
Despite the famed support, Berlanga simply couldn’t get his offense going as Rolls continually danced around the ring. At one point, Berlanga threw up his hands in frustration in an attempt to force Rolls to stand in the middle of the ring and bang with him.
When Rolls did oblige Berlanga and fought fire with fire, the 37-year-old landed the more eye-catching shots. While Berlanga may have ultimately eked out a close decision, taking into account the considerable amount public exposure that Berlanga is receiving, Bradley believes the 24-year-old needs to justify those lofty expectations.
“Edgar got a lot of hype and a lot buzz around him,” said Bradley to BoxingInsider.com. “Main event, you the main event. All the Puerto Rican fans came out to see him perform. He didn’t get the knockout but he didn’t land anything really significant. You gotta be way better than that.”
Throughout much of Berlanga’s early career, the highly touted super middleweight prospect has tabbed himself as a future boxing superstar. Furthermore, the New York native views as a showdown against boxing’s premier star at the moment, Canelo Alvarez, as inevitable.
Although Berlanga has demonstrated that he can talk the talk, Bradley urges him to put down the microphone and prove his worth in the ring.
“You gotta convince the fans that you are going to be the next. You can’t just talk about it, you gotta be about it.”
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