As fans know, Edgar Berlanga was recently signed up by Eddie Hearn, the big-punching Puerto Rican super middleweight stating how he went with Hearn “so I could get Canelo.” Berlanga, who romped to an eye-catching 16 straight KO’s since his pro debut, now has to “prove himself” in order to earn a shot at Canelo in 2024. This is what Hearn said when speaking with Metro.co.uk.
Hearn said Canelo’s next fight is set for May 6, this in Guadalajara, but that the guy in the opposite corner has not yet been confirmed.
“Not yet. Saul has announced his next fight will be May 6 in Guadalajara, John Ryder is definitely the frontrunner for that,” Hearn said. “We are still trying to finalise the contracts for that fight and hopefully you will get an announcement next week. Now we are just working on getting everything over the line. It’s a massive fight for John, I really feel like he deserves it.”
But Berlanga feels he is the man to fight Canelo and beat him, this in what would be another instalment in the classic Mexico Vs. Puerto Rico rivalry. Berlanga, 20-0(16) saw his KO run come to an end in April of 2021, when Demond Nicholson took him to the final bell, and the 25 year old “Chosen One” has not registered a stoppage win since, with him instead picking up three more decision victories. Berlanga last boxed in June of last year when he decisioned Roamer Alexis Angulo; this a fight that saw Berlanga get into some trouble for biting his opponent.
Hearn says he will match Berlanga with “world level opposition” in his next two fights, this in an effort at finding out if Berlanga is worthy of fighting Canelo.
“He has that unbelievable start to his career, also a couple of injuries amid those decent performances after,” Hearn said of Berlanga. “He’s ready to go now and make a statement, he is a fantastic fighter, has a huge fanbase. He is a huge signing for us and the plan is for him to fight Canelo Alvarez. He has to prove himself as a contender for that and his next two fights should be against world level opposition to try and put himself into position for that Mexico Vs. Puerto Rico derby next May.”
May of 2024 is of course a long time from now, and pretty much anything could happen between now and then. Will Canelo, 58-2-2(39) still be fighting by then? What if he loses to Dmitry Bivol in a rematch? Will Berlanga be able to defeat world level opposition (the word is he could face Danny Jacobs in June)?
As of right now, Britain’s John Ryder, 32-5(18) is hoping to hit the Canelo lottery next.