Edgar Berlanga Fails To Begin A New KO Streak, But Arum Says “The Kid Is A Star”

As fight fans are aware, unbeaten super-middleweight contender Edgar Berlanga got off to a simply electrifying start of a pro career, where he took out each and every man he faced, and he did it quickly. 16-0 with as many KO’s is how Berlanga’s record looked at one point. Not any more. The Puerto Rican known as “The Chosen One” is still unbeaten, but the sizzling KO’s have been absent.

Berlanga was coming off two decision wins going into last night’s fight with Steve Rolls at Madison Square Garden. Against 37 year old Rolls, Berlanga was focusing on one thing: getting his KO streak going again. But as we saw, the 24 year old had to again make do with a decision win – and a pretty close one at that. Berlanga – who was coming off biceps surgery, having torn his biceps in his win over Marcelo Coerces five months ago – couldn’t put a dent in Rolls, instead having to be content with a decision win via scores of 96-94 and 97-93, 97-93.

Now 19-0(16), Berlanga said Rolls “fought scared.” Rolls, who has only been stopped by Gennady Golovkin, who took the Canadian out in four rounds back in 2019, is now 21-2(12).

So how good a puncher is Berlanga? Indeed, how good a fighter is he? Berlanga blamed Rolls’ negative tactics for his inability to get the KO punch home.

“You could tell that he was fighting scared,” Berlanga said post-fight. “Every time I reach in or throw something, he’d pull back and was running the whole fight. I was looking for the big shot. My corner was telling me to use the jab. I’m just happy we got the victory and I’m moving forward. He was a scared fighter. It’s tough to land your shots when he’s scared. When he fought GGG, he brought it to GGG. With me, he tried to use that running tactic.”

But Rolls also boxed effectively, catching Berlanga with some snappy jabs to the head. And if CompuBox numbers mean anything to you, Rolls actually out-landed Berlanga last night. So what do we think of Berlanga now? He’s still a quality fighter and contender of course, but can he become a world champion? Can Berlanga KO an elite super-middleweight?

Bob Arum says his fighter is most certainly a star.

“Edgar Berlanga fought a tough, defensive fighter, and he got some valuable rounds in tonight,” Arum said. “As you saw from the sold-out crowd, the kid is a star. There are many more big nights to come.”

But there may or may not be many more big KO’s to come from Berlanga. We will wait and see who Bob matches Berlanga with next.