Edgar Berlanga vs. Padraig McCrory: Strategic Analysis

By Sal Arteaga - 02/23/2024 - Comments

Rising star Edgar Berlanga (21-0, 16 KOs) is set to face undefeated super middleweight contender Patrick McCrory (18-0, 9 KOs) at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida this Saturday, February 24th.

Berlanga hopes an impressive victory over McCrory will place him on the path to superstardom of competing against the best in the super middleweight division. Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn stated at the final press conference if Canelo Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs) finds himself without an opponent, Berlanga can fill that spot if successful against Padraig McCrory Saturday night.

Padraig McCrory is set to debut in the United States having previously fought entirely in Europe. The 35-year-old McCrory is stepping up his level of competition against Berlanga and faces a strong power puncher who will seek to put him away early. If McCrory intends to survive, he will have to box on the outside, utilize constant movement, and keep Berlanga at a distance.

This is the opposite of what Padraig likes to do, which is stay in the pocket, apply pressure, and exchange; if he does so against Edgar, he may find himself on the canvas. Although Padraig does have sneaky power, it may not be enough against the 26-year-old knockout artist.

Those who’ve survived and had success against Berlanga have been those boxers who boxed on the outside and frustrated him with lateral movement. Jason Quigley (20-3, 14 KOs) and Marcelo Coceres (32-6-1, 18 KOs) had limited success by utilizing the jab at a distance and not being stationary targets.

Will McCrory be able to adapt and become mobile? He likes to pursue and apply the pressure, but in this match, he may find himself backpedaling and evading the attack as best he can.

McCrory is not an agile or elusive boxer, so attempting to change his boxing style in his 19th professional bout may pose difficulty. His defense is limited, with little head movement and a penetrable guard.

Edgar Berlanga has received heavy criticism as of late due to his inability to score knockout victories in his last five bouts. He’s not looked as impressive as when he began his career with 16 consecutive first-round knockout victories. He’s struggled at times and even suffered a flash knockdown in 2021 against veteran Marcelo Coceres.

During that time, he’s gone through several personnel changes but has since (2023) returned with trainer Marc Farrait. He’s also made key additions by hiring world-renowned strength and conditioning coach Angel Heredia, who’ll have him in top physical condition. Berlanga knows he must win and win impressively to

be considered for top matches against Canelo Alvarez and Jaime Munguia (43-0, 34 KOs). Berlanga holds the edge in age, speed, and power. He’ll seek to impose his will against McCrory by pressuring and attacking him with power punches.

To be effective he must setup his punches and use the jab, Berlanga forgets to do this when he’s simply seeking a knockout. If McCrory is unable to make the necessary adjustment and effectively evade Berlanga’s punches, it will be a very short night for him.