Edgar Berlanga: First-round knockout machine returns against Eric Moon
Edgar Berlanga is not thinking about his streak of 13 consecutive first-round knockout wins. Instead, the unbeaten super middleweight is eager to become a great fighter and carry on the life lessons his parents instilled in him at a young age.
Berlanga will face Eric Moon on Tuesday at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. The eight-round bout will precede the main event between junior lightweight contender Oscar Valdez and Jayson Velez.
Both fights will air live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT).
Berlanga (13-0, 13 knockouts), who resides in New York City, has caught the attention of boxing fans due to his devastating power. In his last bout on December 14, he was almost taken past the opening round but caught up with Spain’s Cesar Nunez at 2:45.
Berlanga expects to face a modest challenge from Moon (11-2, 6 KOs), who is coming off a decision loss to Mike Guy in September of last year. The Marietta, Georgia fighter suffered a knockout loss in his only other defeat to prospect Meiirim Nursultanov.
“I’m not going to predict what round I’m going to win by knockout,” Berlanga told The Ring over the phone Saturday afternoon. “I do know Moon is a good fighter, but I have to handle my business Tuesday night.”
Berlanga obviously doesn’t waste any time once he enters the ring and admits that he goes into each fight with the purpose of knocking out the opposition, regardless of the round. However, Berlanga also admits to being surprised by his fight-ending power.
The 23-year-old credits his success to hard work in the gym under the guidance of trainer Andre Rozier.
“Every opponent I’ve faced thus far, I always expect to get rounds in,” said Berlanga, who is co-managed by Keith Connelly and his father. “I’m honestly shocked. It’s just a testament to how we get ready for each fight. The results speak for themselves.”
Berlanga is of Puerto Rican descent. He was inspired to box as a child when he watched the likes of Hector Camacho, Miguel Cotto and Felix Trinidad, three great champions who carved out Hall of Fame careers.
“All those fighters created a legacy and that’s what I want,” said Berlanga. “I want to go down in the history books as one of the best Puerto Rican fighters. I want to be one of the greatest.”
Berlanga is humble, an attribute that he’s retained due to his upbringing and a close relationship with his mother.
“My mom motivates me,” he said. “She’s been through a lot. I just want to build on the legacy for my family. I want to be the best. The world is in my hands and at any given moment it could slip away. I don’t want to be that fighter where people say, ‘He could’ve been the best but he isn’t.’”
“My mom and dad have taught me to be humble growing up and that’s the type of aura I have in me. I believe humble blessings come to you, it does go a long way.”
Having initially planned to continue his rise at 160 pounds, Berlanga has now elected to go full-time at super middleweight. He acknowledges that making weight was becoming arduous.
“I fought around 160 pounds for over three years,” Berlanga said. “I’m still young, but I’m growing. I believe I’m going to get my man-body by the time I’m 24 or 25 years old. I’m doing everything the right way when it comes to weight and training.”
“I just want to continue to do my best to be a great fighter.”
Francisco A. Salazar can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing
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