By Brian Webber: Edgar Berlanga called out Jaime Munguia last Saturday night, saying he wants the unbeaten 160-lb fighter next in the “big room” at Madison Square Garden in New York after his win over Jason Quigley in the smaller room [AKA Hula Theater] at MSG.
The 26-year-old Berlanga is focusing more on the business side of things in targeting Munguia than the sporting side because the Mexican fighter isn’t seen as a major player at super middleweight.
Someone like Demetrius Andrade would be a good option for Berlanga, given that he crushed Quigley in two rounds and looked a whole lot better than what we saw last night by the New Yorker.
Berlanga wants Munguia next
If Berlanga’s career weren’t about money, Andrade would be the ideal next opponent for him because it would show the hardcore boxing fans that he’s NOT a fake, manufactured fighter, someone that is being matched against lesser opposition to trick his Puerto Rican fan base.
It would be a business [read: money] level fight for Berlanga if he were to get Munguia next because neither fighter is seen as capable of capturing a world title at 168 unless it’s an ideal situation where they’re matched against a low-level contender for a vacant belt or one of the WBC’s many titles.
“I feel like that’s the biggest fight right now,” said Edgar Berlanga to the media at the post-fight press conference last Saturday night when asked ‘WHY’ he wants Jaime Munguia so bad for his next fight.
“I want him in October in the big house in Madison Square Garden. I know that’s the fight that everybody wants to see. I want that mother f***er. He’s Mexican, I’m Puerto Rican. I’ve got the man here [Eddie Hearn]. He’s the best promoter. I know he’s going to make it happen,” said Berlanga.
Berlanga (21-0, 16 KOs) feels that a fight between him and Munguia (42-0, 33 KOs) would sellout out the 19,500-seat Madison Square Garden, with the Puerto Rican and Mexican fans flocking to see the fight due to that angle.
There are better fighters at 168 for Berlanga to fight than Munguia, who looked awful in his debut at super middleweight against 37-year-old Sergiy Derevyanchenko on June 10th, coming close to losing to the faded fighter.
Hearn lists options for Berlanga
That fight showed that Munguia would need to continue to be protected with safe match-making by his promoters at Golden Boy because he lacks the talent to fight the A-level 168-lb fighters, David Benavidez, David Morrell Jr, and Canelo Alvarez.
Berlanga’s promoter Eddie Hearn included 41-year-old Gennadiy Golovkin’s name among the possible next opponents for Edgar to fight in October.
Hearn’s list of opponents for Berlanga:
1. Jaime Munguia
2. Gennadiy Golovkin
3. John Ryder
4. Billy Joe Saunders
“Jaime Munguia brings a crowd. Like Edgar said, I would love to do it in the main room [at Madison Square Garden]. They fill it up,” said Eddie Hearn about a fight between Berlanga and Munguia. “It also fills up Vegas and LA.
Ryder is the most realistic of those four as a potential opponent for Berlanga’s next fight. It’s safe to say that Golovkin, Munguia, and Saunders WON’T be fighting Berlanga next.
It would be nice if Hearn had included some of the talented fighters at 168 among the options for Berlanga’s next fight, but he’s thinking about winnable fights for Edgar.
“It’s a conversation with DAZN. They love the fight. Everyone loves the fight,” said Hearn about Berlanga vs. Munguia. There are other options. I think Gennadiy Golovkin, also in the big room, is a tremendous fight. Billy Joe Saunders from the UK, but he probably needs a comeback fight first.
“There are loads of fights like John Ryder, but I think the fights that fill the big room [at Madison Square Garden] are Munguia & Gennadiy Golovkin,” said Hearn.
The more talented fighters in the 168-lb division would be a nightmare for Berlanga. What Hearn is obviously doing is putting Berlanga in fights that he’s 90% sure he’ll win so that he can lure Canelo Alvarez into fighting him after his three-fight contract with PBC is up in late 2024.
Hearn is just making sure Berlanga wins every time out and looks good enough for Canelo to fight him next year.
That can’t happen if Hearn matches Berlanga against the best at 168 because he’s only a B-level fighter and incapable of beating A-level opposition. Hence, Berlanga couldn’t knock out Quigley, a fighter that Demetrius Andrade obliterated in two rounds in 2021.