Unbeaten power-puncher Edgar Berlanga did it again at the weekend. Fighting on Shakur Stevenson’s undercard in Las Vegas, the 23-year-old super-middleweight from Puerto Rico scored yet another first-round KO win; this his 16th in a row. Simply put, since going pro back in April of 2016, everything “The Chosen One” has hit, he has destroyed. It sounds like a line from ‘Rocky IV,’ and Berlanga has been busy compiling a perfect professional record that some might look at as unrealistic. Yet there is nothing made up about Berlanga’s punching power. For even if the 168 pounder had been facing stiffs (he hasn’t, in fact far from it – all but three of his opponents, these making their pro debuts, entered the ring with him whilst sporting a winning record), the fact that he bowled them all over inside three-minutes would have been quite eye-catching.
Berlanga has taken out some good men – Cesar Nunez, who was 16-1-1 at the time, Jaime Barboza, who had taken the likes of J’Leon Love and “Spike” O’Sullivan the distance, and on Saturday night, Berlanga took out the previously unstopped Ulises Sierra in a flash; Sierra 15-1-2(9) when entering the ring. This is impressive stuff and of course, every fight fan loves a big puncher. Bob Arum has been mightily impressed by the fighter his company Top Rank singed up shortly after he’d had his ninth pro outing. Okay, Arum is prone to overhype fighters and fights at times (isn’t every promoter guilty of this?), but the 89-year-old stated after Berlanga’s win on Saturday how he is “the greatest power-punching phenomenon I’ve seen since the heyday of a young Mike Tyson.”
Arum added how he has been “astounded when witnessing this incredible power of his punches from ringside.”
One day, some fighter WILL extend Berlanga, perhaps into the later rounds of a fight. But how many more quick, first-round KO’s might Berlanga score before then? It sure is going to be fun finding out. A age 23, Berlanga has a whole lot of time in which to perfect his craft, adding things other than extremely effective punching to his game. Fans always wonder how an unbeaten puncher will react when he’s hit with some hard and powerful shots himself. We’ve yet to see Berlanga really take a shot, as short and sweet as his fights have been. All of them. The current world record for most consecutive one-round KO’s scored by a fighter from the very start of their pro career is held by Yemeni fighter Ali Raymi, who scored an amazing 21 straight first-round KO’s. The light-flyweight eventually got to 25-0(25) yet he was extended into the later rounds after that 21st quick KO win. Raymi was never a world champion, having his final fight in March of 2015, before being tragically killed in an airstrike in May of that year. He was just 41 years of age.
Berlanga has another six first-round KO’s to achieve if he is to top Raymi’s world record. Can he do it? Who knows. But again, it’s gonna be fun watching to find out. Berlenaga had a good 2020, winning three fights. What might 2021 have in store for him and for his growing number of fans?