Edgar Berlanga now a promotional free agent, part ways with Top Rank

By Boxing News - 01/18/2023 - Comments

By Sean Jones: Super middleweight contender Edgar Berlanga and Top Rank have parted ways after the two failed to reach an agreement.

ESPN’s Mike Coppinger is reporting the news of the 25-year-old Berlanga (20-0, 16 KOs) now being a promotional free agent. The big question is, who will sign Berlanga next? Will it be one of these promoters: Matchroom Boxing, Golden Boy Promotions, PBC, or Queensbury?

Whoever Berlanga signs with, they will need to continue developing him because he’s in no way ready to face A-level opposition. Given all the flaws in his game, Berlanga must be viewed as a ‘project’ that could need years of development before he pans out.

It’s not every day that you see unbeaten, highly ranked fighters like #4 IBF, #4 WBA & #4 WBO Munguia fail to stick with one of the powerhouse promotional companies like Top Rank, but in some ways, it’s not surprising.

Berlanga has looked average in his last four fights since Top Rank stopped matching him against ham & eggers in 2021, and he’s not shown the kind of progress that would suggest that if they threw him in with one of the elite-level contenders at 168 that he’d have any chance of winning.

Berlanga started his career with sixteen straight first round knockouts, but his opposition was the kind of fodder that anybody with a shred of talent would blow through in one round. When Top Rank stepped Berlanga up ever so slightly against guys with a pulse, he looked abysmal, going life & death with them.

Even more worrisome was how Berlanga struggled in his last fight against Roamer Alexis Angulo last June and appeared to attempt to bite him.

That fight showed that the New York native Berlanga is light years away from being capable of holding his own against the upper-tier fighters at super middleweight like David Benavidez, Caleb Plant, Canelo Alvarez, and David Morrell.

With Top Rank’s deep pockets, they can easily replace Berlanga with more capable prospects that can become world champions potentially.

Berlanga’s opposition since Top Rank stopped matching him against mediocre opposition:

  • Roamer Alexis Angulo
  • Steve Rolls
  • Marcelo Esteban Coceres
  • Demond Nicholson

Berlanga was dropped by Coceres, and looked in trouble during the second half of their fight in 2021. He was fortunate that Coceres didn’t have a bit of power because he would have finished him off.

If Berlanga winds up with Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn, it will be interesting to see what kind of opposition he matches him against. Berlanga would likely fall apart if Hearn has him fighting British guys like Craig Richards, Joshua Buatsi & Lerrone Richards.

Is Teofimo Lopez next?

It’s going to be fun to see who’s next for the chopping block by Top Rank as they trim the fat from their roster in eliminating fighters going nowhere.

One guy that has to be viewed as a likely next fighter that Top Rank needs to cut loose is Teofimo Lopez because he’s a lost cause and is struggling just as severely as Berlanga, if not more.