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Edgar Berlanga suffered torn left bicep in 3rd against Marcelo Esteban Coceres

Edgar Berlanga boxing photo

By Dan Ambrose: Edgar Berlanga suffered a torn left bicep in the third round of his grueling victory over Argentinian Marcelo Esteban Coceres (30-3-1, 16 KOs) last Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sadly, Berlanga was hurt multiple times in the fight by Coceres and rudely dropped in the ninth round.

Interestingly, the left bicep injury didn’t prevent the #6 WBA, #7 WBC Berlanga (18-0, 16 KOs) from using that arm to throw power shots for the remaining seven rounds to win a close 10 round unanimous decision over Coceres.

The scores were 96-93, 96-93, and 96-93 for Berlanga.

Coceres gave former WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders one of his toughest career tests two years ago in losing by an 11th round stoppage in November 2019. He was ahead on one of the judges’ scorecards 96-94 going into the 11th round against Billy Joe.

Boxing News 24 had Coceres winning that fight by the same score, and Saunders looked like he was coming unglued. This wasn’t the old and stamina-plagued Saunders that we saw lose to Canelo Alvarez last May.

This was a slightly fresher, younger version of Saunders, and Coceres was lighting him up and looked to be the better fighter of the two.

Edgar Berlanga boxing photo

In the first three rounds, the 24-year-old New Yorker Berlanga started like he was in a hurry to try and score another fast knockout as he’d done through the first 16 fights of his career.

The tough ‘El Terrible’ Coceres surprised Berlanga in the fourth, staggering him with a right hand to the head. Berlanga’s legs wobbled for a moment after eating a hard shot from Coceres.

In the 6th, Berlanga was hurt once again after getting nailed by consecutive right hands from Coceres.  Three rounds later, Berlanga walked into a big counter right hand that caused him to go down in a delayed reaction.

When Berlanga was on the canvas on his back, he reacted in anger at himself for being so careless in walking into that shot.

It was obvious that Coceres was going to drop Berlanga at some point in the fight because he was showing no respect for the Argentinian’s power and rushing forward to throw shots with full power without worrying about being countered.

That’s how Coceres was able to hurt Berlanga in the fourth and sixth rounds. He waited for Berlanga to throw one homerun punches and he nailed him with a perfect counter.

If Coceres had a little more power, he would have knocked Berlangaout early in the fight because he’s too sloppy and careless with his fighting style.

It’s one thing to fight the way Berlanga does if you have an iron chin but clearly doesn’t. His chin doesn’t match his power or fighting style. With the way Berlanga fights, he’s a knockout waiting to happen.

Fortunately for Berlanga, Coceres’ right eye closed completely by the 10th round, which arguably saved him from being knocked out.

If Coceres had full visibility, he probably would have finished off Berlanga because the New Yorker was fighting like a primitive wild man in the 10th, showing no common sense as he threw one wild homerun punch after another.

All in all, it was a terrible performance from Berlanga against Coceres, exposing him as a product of hype at the moment.

Top Rank is going to need to seriously consider matching Berlanga more carefully like they were doing when they fed him 16 consecutive stiffs in his first 16 fights of his career. If I were Berlanga’s promoter, I’d slow down his progress because he’s not yet ready to fight B-level opposition. Coceres is a B-level fighter, and he almost beat Berlanga.

It would be interesting to see Berlanga fight Bektemir Melikuziev because they’re both the same type of fighters, and Berlanga vs. Bektemir would be a toss-up fight between two crude sluggers.

From what we saw of Berlanga last Saturday, he’s not ready to fight any of the quality 168-pounders. If Berlanga were to fight David Benavidez, Carlos Gongora, David Morrell Jr, Caleb Plant, or Canelo Alvarez, he’d likely get stopped in the first three rounds by all of them.


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