Edgar Berlanga is in a position where he needs a knockout in the early rounds against the much smaller, weaker & older Jason Quigley for him to impress and show that he’s ready to be stepped up to the next level this TONIGHT in their main event fight live on DAZN at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Hearn wants to step Berlanga up against Gennadiy Golovkin, Jaime Munguia, John Ryder, or Billy Joe Saunders next, but that’s not going to be advisable if he struggles against Quigley.
Demetrius Andrade knocked out Quigley (20-2, 14 KOs) in two rounds in 2021. Quigley has fought only once since, beating journeyman Gabor Gorbics.
Quigley is someone that Berlanga is supposed to knockout if he’s the real deal and worthy of throwing in with Canelo Alvarez, David Benavidez, or David Morrell Jr.
Berlanga is a huge super middleweight, with size on part with the light heavyweights Artur Beterbiev & Dmitry Bivol. He should be able to knock out a small middleweight like Quigley, and if he fails, that’s worrisome.
Eddie Hearn signed Berlanga after he left Top Rank, believing that he could do what they couldn’t, which was to turn him into a great fighter.
Top Rank saw for themselves that Berlanga wasn’t ready to fight good position after he struggled in four consecutive fights against Demond Nicolson, Roamer Alexis Angulo, Steve Rolls, and Marcelo Esteban Coceres.
Quigley should not be going more than two rounds against Berlanga, and if he does, it’s a sign that the New Yorker isn’t the fighter that Hearn thinks he is.
Top Rank knew that Berlanga wasn’t ready to fight better opposition, so they wanted to back him off from fighting in main events so they could match him against lesser opposition to help him continue to develop.
“If I’m Edgar Berlanga and Keith Conley, they want Canelo Alvarez, right? They’re looking at it, and they’re going, ‘We believe we can build a massive fight, Mexico against Puerto Rico.’ So I’m starting that process now,” said Eddie Hearn to the DAZN Boxing Show.
“When you hear him in interviews now, he’s already talking about it, but he also knows he’s got to go through the stages. But I’m starting, if I’m Berlnga, I’m starting that train now. I’m screaming and shouting.
“I wouldn’t tell him what to say, but I would try and goad Canelo Alvarez to the point where I know what Canelo is like. Yeah, I’ve mentioned it to them [Team Canelo], and I think they look at it for next year,” Hearn said about Canelo & manager/trainer Eddy Reynoso wanting the fight with Berlanga in 2024, provided he wins his fight on Saturday against Quigley and whoever else he faces this year.
“Canelo is quite adamant about people in general, not in an arrogant way, about earning their shot. He’s gone through some serious opposition to get to where he is now. I think sometimes he looks at a fighter and thinks, ‘You need to earn your position.’
“When you look at some of the weaker opposition for Canelo, and there hasn’t been much over the last three years, they’ve all been mandatorys. He’s never taken a cherry [pick]. Yildirim and Ryder are examples, and it was a tough fight, and he was coming back from an injury.
“All the other fighters have been champions. Sometimes a fight gets made like Canelo vs. Berlanga, and people go, ‘Oh, Berlanga hasn’t earned his shot,’ and then the build-up starts, and then you see the press conferences, the Puerto Rican flag, and the Mexican flag. Then they come head-to-head.
“We know boxing. To fight at that level, you have to prove you’re at that level. This is the first step,” Hearn said about Berlanga.