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Edgar Berlanga faces Ulises Sierra on ESPN on Dec.12th

Felix Verdejo Shakur Stevenson

By Jeff Aronow: Unbeaten super middleweight contender Edgar ‘The Chosen One’ Berlanga (15-0, 15 KOs) is fighting next month against Ulises Sierra (15-1-2. 9 KOs) in a scheduled eight-round fight on the Shakur Stevenson vs. Toka Kahn Clary card on December 12th on ESPN at the in ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The action kicks off at 10:00 p.m. ET with Berlanga taking on the once-beaten 31-year-old Sierra.

The hard-hitting 168-pound contender Berlanga fought last month, blowing out the always capable Lanell Bellows by a first-round knockout on October 17th on the undercard of Vasily Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez in Las Vegas, Nevada

That was an impressive performance by Berlanga in destroying the normally sturdy-chinned Bellows in the opening round.

Berlanga needs better opposition

Still, the fight showed that Berlanga is ready to step it up to another level against top tier opposition, which Top Rank has been slow in matching him against.

Felix Verdejo Shakur Stevenson

The 23-year-old Berlanga will be the first fight on this ESPN-televised card next month. #6 WBA, #9 WBO ranked Berlanga is going to be looking to score his 16th consecutive first-round knockout.

While some boxing fans are impressed with Berlanga’s consecutive knockout streak, others see it as a case of his promoters at Top Rank matching him against horribly weak opposition that isn’t helping him improve.

Top Rank needs to make adjustments in the way they’ve been matching Berlanga because he’s scoring too many quick first-round knockouts against the opposition they’ve been digging up for him.

To get as many early knockouts as we’ve seen from the New York native Berlanga, it’s a signal that his promoters need to make adjustments to help him improve.

Berlanga’s opponent, Ulises Sierra suffered his career defeat at the hands of unbeaten Vladimir Shishkin (11-0, 7 KOs) last January in losing a lopsided 10 round unanimous decision. For Sierra to go the full 10 round distance with Shishkin, that shows you what kind of chin he possesses.

Hopefully, for Berlanga’s sake, Sierra can give him some badly needed rounds on December 12th, because he needs to work on his conditioning for him to get ready to take on the elite fighters at 168.

Arum stepping Berlanga up

“Edgar Berlanga has a unique blend of power and charisma, and I believe he is the next Puerto Rican superstar,” said Top Rank boss Bob Arum.

“Ulises Sierra is the toughest test of Edgar’s career. Who knows if that will make a difference? We’ve tried to get the kid some rounds before, but once Edgar hurts his opponents, it’s game over.”

“I know any little slip that happens to me, it’s over,” said Berlanga. “Any little slip-up, I’m going to be on the Internet. Just as much as the Internet brings me up and makes me this big thing that’s coming out of Puerto Rico and representing, they could bring me down, and I always say that.

They say, ‘He’s caught up in the hype. He’s going to end up like Adrien Broner, and he’s going to end up like these fighters that hung around celebrities and he’s going to fall into that trap.’

In other action on the Shakur Stevenson vs. Toka Kahn Clary card, the highly ranked lightweight contender Felix Verdejo (27-1, 17 KOs) takes on Masayoshi Nakatani (18-1, 12 KOs) in a 10-round clash.

Felix Verdejo Shakur Stevenson

Nakatani, 31, gave Teofimo Lopez one of the hardest fights of his career last year in losing a 12 round unanimous decision in July 2019.

Verdejo hopes to win his fifth consecutive fight since losing to Antonio Lozado Torres by a 10th round knockout in 2018. This is an important fight for Verdejo, as he needs to show that he can beat world-class opposition.

 

 




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