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Is Edgar Berlanga One Step Away From Landing A Bout With Canelo?

Image: Is Edgar Berlanga One Step Away From Landing A Bout With Canelo?

By Vince D’Writer: Undefeated super-middleweight contender Edgar “The Chosen One” Berlanga (20-0, 16 KOs) has verbalized his goal on multiple occasions, and with the politics of boxing interfering with a Canelo-Bivol rematch, could Berlanga be one step away from achieving his goal of landing a fight with the undisputed super-middleweight champion?

Edgar Berlanga started boxing at the age of seven, and as an amateur he compiled a record of 162 wins and 17 losses. He would go on to turn pro in April 2016, and in his debut as a professional, he scored a first round knockout victory over Jorge Pedroza.

Berlanga had an electrifying start to his pro boxing career, as he brought his brand of excitement to the sport. In his first 16 bouts, he was able to win all 16 by way of first round knockout.

During the course of the streak, Berlanga would often verbalize his goal of sharing the ring with Canelo Alvarez. His first round knockout streak was impressive, but it came to an end in April 2021 when he scored a unanimous decision victory over Demond Nicholson.

Six months later, Berlanga was back in the ring, and once again, he was unable to produce the crowd-pleasing knockout. He would go on to earn decision victories over 37-year-old Steve Rolls and 38-year-old Alexis Angulo.

In Berlanga’s four fights that went the distance, he made some mistakes, and he learned from those mistakes. One crucial error he made was reacting out of frustration and attempting to bite Alexis Angulo in their June 2022 bout.

As a result of the bite attempt, the New York State Athletic Commission hit Edgar Berlanga with a six-month suspension. Once his suspension ended, Berlanga switched promotional companies as he separated from Top Rank and proceeded to sign on with promoter Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing.

Now the 26-year-old Berlanga is scheduled to make his debut under his new promotional company on June 24th, as he will face 32-year-old Jason Quigley (20-2, 14 KOs) at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Back in May 2022, WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol dominated Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and earned a unanimous decision victory. Canelo is interested in a rematch and a second chance to win Bivol’s WBA title, but Bivol and his team insist on the rematch taking place at 168 for Canelo’s undisputed crown.

With the disagreement between the two camps threatening the potential September rematch, Edgar Berlanga’s June 24th bout has transitioned from a comeback fight into a showcase bout. If Berlanga is able to look impressive and dominate Quigley, he could solidify his position in regards to receiving a shot at Canelo.

For the past year, former two-time WBC super-middleweight champion David Benavidez has been Canelo’s mandatory, but Alvarez seems determined to avoid Benavidez. The 26-year-old David Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs) is a skilled high-volume puncher who is a serious threat in regards to dethroning Canelo Alvarez.

Benavidez currently holds the WBC Interim super-middleweight title, but Berlanga may have the the inside track because he’s signed to Matchroom Boxing, a promotional company that has a solid business rapport with Alvarez.

Despite the fact that Berlanga and Benavidez are the same age, from a skill-set point of view, it seems as though Benavidez is currently a level above Berlanga. However, Berlanga may have the upper hand when it comes to the Canelo sweepstakes due to his promotional affiliation and the fact that he’s the safer option.

The general boxing public wants to see a Canelo-Benavidez clash, but it’s a strong possibility that they could get a Canelo-Berlanga matchup. Berlanga isn’t on the level of Benavidez, but he’s a legitimate contender who is marketable, and he has star potential.

The immediate future is looking bright for Edgar Berlanga because it’s very possible that he’s just one step away from a crowning opportunity. He’s currently in a good place, but before he starts thinking about the undisputed super-middleweight champion, he needs to elevate his stock by dominating Jason Quigley on June 24th, live on DAZN.

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