Edgar Berlanga drops Jason Quigley four times en route to decision victory
Edgar Berlanga was expected to make quick work of Jason Quigley, who suffered a broken jaw en route to a second-round stoppage loss to then-WBO middleweight titleholder Demetrius Andrade in his last bout of significance in November 2021. However, the Irish veteran proved game and pesky with stick-and-move tactics that extended the bout to the final bell, giving Berlanga, who had been out of the ring for one year while rehabbing a biceps injury and changing promoters, much needed rust-shaking rounds.
Berlanga (21-0, 16 KOs), once a ballyhooed puncher due to his streak of 16 first-round stoppages, was taken the distance for the fifth consecutive fight, but the Brooklyn native won comfortably on the scorecards thanks to four knockdowns scored. Berlanga, who was making his Matchroom Boxing/DAZN debut at the Hulu Theater inside Madison Square Garden, dropped Quigley (20-3, 14 KOs) with a chopping right to the ear at the end of Round 3, then scored a questionable knockdown (which looked more like a slip) during the final 30 seconds of Round 5, and finally sealed the deal by flooring a fatigued Quigley twice in Round 12.
Berlanga won by scores of 116-108 (twice) and 118-106, but he was troubled by Quigley’s jab, lateral/upper-body movement and counterpunching for much of the fight, igniting his trainer to yell “You’re sleeping! Are you awake!?” between Rounds 6 and 7. Berlanga was indeed plodding in his pursuit and at times his aggression and offense was neutralized by Quigley’s footwork and well-timed counters, but he also finished strong in his first 12-round bout.
🗣️ Firm instructions in the Berlanga corner
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) June 25, 2023
The 26-year-old Puerto Rican attraction gave his performance a ‘C’ grade, but also chalked it up to what he called “survival tactics” from the 32-year-old Quigley.
“Everyone that I face at this level is going to run and just try to go the distance,” said Berlanga, who expects better fights — and a return to knockout victories — with the top fighters of the super middleweight division.
Berlanga’s new promoter Eddie Hearn floated the idea of a Puerto Rico-vs.-Mexico showdown with Jaime Munguia, who made his debut in the 168-division earlier this month with a 12-round war against Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Nobody would complain about that matchup.