Edgar Berlanga targeting Gabe Rosado for step-up in 2021

By Dan Ambrose: Super middleweight contender Edgar Berlanga (16-0, 16 KOs) says he wants to fight Gabe Rosado (25-13-1, 14 KOs) in 2021 when he returns to the ring.

The Top Rank promoted Berlanga would like to face Rosado, 34, during the Puerto Rican Day weekend.

It would be a big step up in class for the 23-year-old New York native Berlanga to take on the 14-year-old professional Rosado, who is coming off an impressive performance against Daniel Jacobs last month in the main event on DAZN on November 27th.

Although Rosado came up short in losing a 12 round split decision, many boxing fans had him beating Jacobs. Additionally, Rosado showed a different side of his game in using his boxing skills to give Jacobs fits.

Throughout Rosado’s career, he’s mainly been known for his ability to slug. But the way Rosado fought against Jacobs, he was an entirely different fighter than what he’s shown before.

Berlanga wants Rosado

“Shout out to Gabe Rosado. We can probably make a fight happen for the people,” said Berlanga on social media. “The Puerto Rican Day weekend, we can probably make something happen.

Image: Edgar Berlanga targeting Gabe Rosado for step-up in 2021

“No harsh feelings with him. It’s about the fans and making big things happen.

“Everybody always says he’s not fighting nobody. Listen, relax, he’s stepping up competition. Next year, we’re going to be stepping up the competition. They’re just so impatient,” said Berlanga.

It’ll be up to Top Rank promoter Bob Arum if he wants to let Berlanga in with the experienced fighter Rosado. It’s possible that Arum may deem Rosado too advanced for Berlanga at this early point in his career.

It’s obvious that Berlanga has been matched against terribly mediocre opposition since he turned pro in 2016. He’s knocked his first 16 opponents in the first round, and that’s a clear sign that Berlanga is being matched poor opposition.

Top Rank should have already made some adjustments to begin putting Berlanga in with better opposition, but they haven’t.

Some boxing fans believe that they’re purposefully keeping Berlanga in with mediocre opposition so that he can get hyped by putting together a long string of early knockouts.

If that’s the grand plan by Top Rank for Berlanga, cheap hype, it’ll come with a negative aspect. Berlanga won’t advance, and he won’t be ready when they do step him up in the future.

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Early in welterweight Thomas Dulorme’s career, he was matched against third-tier opposition for a long period, and he put together an incredible knockout string that had some boxing fans saying he’s the next Felix Trinidad.

But when Dulorme was finally matched against a halfway decent fighter in Luis Carlos Abregu, he lost. Will Berlanga be the next Dulorme? Frankly, it wouldn’t be surprising. He’s being matched just as poorly as Dulorme was during the first four years of his career from 2008 to 2012.

Edgar not ready for David Benavidez

“[David] Benavidez is a great fight for me, but before I get to him, I’ve got to prove myself,” said the 23-year-old Berlanga about a fight against Benavidez. “I gt to get in there and get some rounds in, and prove myself to the critics. Not just for them but for myself.

“The hand injury came during the fight. I hit him on his hand a little bit too hard,” Berlanga said about his injured left hand that he suffered from his last fight against Ulises Sierra on December 12th. “I’ll be in this cast for four weeks, and then we’ll be back good to go, back in the gym,” said Berlanga.

Image: Edgar Berlanga targeting Gabe Rosado for step-up in 2021

Former WBC super-middleweight champion David Benavidez (23-0, 20 KOs) is just one year older than Berlanga at 24, but he hasn’t been babied in the same way by his management. Benavidez has been fighting the best at super middleweight since he was 21-years-old.

Berlanga should be fighting the type of opposition that Benavidez has been, but that comes down to his promoters.

For some reason, Top Rank has chosen to match Berlanga against fodder-level opposition, and they’ve made no adjustments to begin putting him in with better fighters yet.

It would be interesting to know what Benavidez thinks about how Berlanga has been being brought along.