Edgar Berlanga Gets Mandatory Shot at Canelo, Morrell Moves Up

By Will Arons - 04/19/2024 - Comments

In an unpopular move, the WBA made Edgar Berlanga mandatory for Canelo Alvarez’s belt at 168.

The World Boxing Association’s move is not popular because they don’t view Berlanga as deserving of a title shot and feel that he’s another weak opponent for Canelo, along the lines of Jaime Munguia, John Ryder, and Billy Joe Saunders. Actually, Berlanga might not even be as good as those guys.

Berlanga is viewed as a guy with an even more inflated resume than Munguia, and that’s saying a lot. When Berlanga was promoted by Top Rank, they fed him abysmal opposition, and they stepped him up against second-tier fighters, he struggled.

Now that Berlanga is promoted by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom, he’s continuing to fight subpar opposition, beating Padraig McCrory and Jason Quigley in his two fights with the British promoter.

With the WBA mandatory Berlanga (22-0, 17 KOs) mandatory for his super middleweight belt with their organization, it gives the Mexican star an excuse to fight him rather than a more credible opponent like David Benavidez.

New “Regular” Title for Morrell – Kalajdzic Winner

In another move, the WBA has created a ‘regular’ title at 175 for the June 22nd fight between David Morrell Jr. and Radivoje Kalajdzi in Houston, Texas. If Morrell is victorious, he’ll vacate his WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight title.

It’s believed the sole reason Morrell is moving up to light heavyweight is because he’s been locked out of big fights at 168. Canelo hasn’t looked his way, and neither has Benavidez or Caleb Plant.

The 26-year-old Morrell isn’t going to waste his career the way Benavidez has, calling out Canelo until he’s blue in the face, and being ignored. Morrell understands that he’s got to move up to 175 if he wants more opportunities for compelling fights against guys who won’t avoid him, like IBF/WBC/WBO champion Artur Beterbiev and WBA champ Dmitry Bivol.

If Morrell defeats Radivoje Kalajdzic (29-2, 21 KOs), he’ll be the new WBA ‘regular’ light heavy8weight champion, and he’ll be in a good position to get a chance to fight the winner of the Beterbiev vs. Bivol winner.

David Benavidez also wants to fight the winner of that match as well, and he’s planning on fighting on the same card as Morrell on June 22nd against Oleksandr Gvozyk in a WBC 175-lb title eliminator.

Morrell will probably have to wait for Benavidez to get his title shot against the Beterbiev-Bivol winner before he gets a chance to fight for the belt.

Even if Benavidez holds the four titles, Morrell will be happy because he’d been trying to get a fight against him at 168 with no luck. Some boxing fans believe one of the reasons Morrell is going up to 175 is to chase Benavidez and continue to apply pressure on him.