Edgar Berlanga makes his Matchroom debut this coming Saturday in his hometown of New York against Ireland’s Jason Quigley.
The unbeaten American of Puerto Rican descent headlines at Maddison Square Garden live on DAZN and is the focus of this week’s Spotlight.
Born and raised in the vibrant Nuyorican community of Brooklyn, Edgar Berlanga (20-0, 16 KOs) has already had quite the career so far. Berlanga’s passion for boxing ignited at the tender age of seven. He claims his inspiration was the electrifying fights of his idol, Félix Trinidad, who frequently graced the legendary Madison Square Garden himself.
Despite being born in the United States, he proudly embraces his Puerto Rican heritage, stating that he feels “a hundred percent Puerto Rican.” He recognizes that his roots lie in Puerto Rico, where most of his family still resides, and when he steps into the ring, he carries their hopes and the beauty of the Puerto Rican flag with him.
Starting his amateur career, Berlanga amassed an impressive record of 162 wins and only 17 losses. This early success laid the foundation for his transition to the professional ranks, where he made his debut on April 29, 2016, with a resounding first-round knockout victory against Jorge Pedroza in Aguascalientes City, Mexico. Berlanga’s meteoric rise continued as he compiled an unbeaten record of 16-0, all wins by way of first-round stoppages.
By late 2020, Berlanga’s exceptional run of first-round knockouts drew attention from the media and fans alike, as he neared the official world record for consecutive first-round KO victories held by Ali Raymi. On December 12, 2020, Berlanga equaled Young Otto’s record when he dispatched Ulises Sierra in the opening round. However, his pursuit of the record came to an end on April 24, 2021, when he went the distance in a unanimous decision victory against Demond Nicholson, marking his 17th professional bout.
On October 9, 2021, on the undercard of the highly anticipated Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III bout, Berlanga faced former WBO title challenger Marcelo Esteban Coceres. Despite suffering a knockdown in the ninth round, Berlanga exhibited his resilience and fought back to secure his eighteenth successive professional victory, winning via unanimous decision with all three scorecards reading 96–93.
In a regrettable incident during his fight against Roamer Alexis Angulo on June 11, 2022, Berlanga attempted to bite his opponent’s shoulder. Although the act went unnoticed by the referee at the time, Berlanga faced criticism for his actions. He later jokingly referenced Mike Tyson’s infamous biting incident, but quickly realized the insensitivity of his comment and issued a sincere apology. The New York State Athletic Commission fined Berlanga $10,000 and imposed a six-month suspension from professional boxing as a consequence of the incident.
Following his suspension, Berlanga signed with Eddie Hearns Matchroom in a multi-fight deal. He has spoken of his desire to land a fight with Canelo and renew one of the greatest rivalries in boxing, Mexico vs Puerto Rico. Saturday night live on DAZN he makes his debut against Ireland’s Jason Quigley and will want to impress as he looks to start to land the big fights.
By Lee Browne