Berlanga to highlight Shakur Stevenson vs. Miguel Marriaga undercard from Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden
Berlanga, John Bauza-Romain Tomas and the rest of the undercard will stream live on ESPN+ starting at 7 p.m. ET. Sign up and view on ESPN+ at ESPNplus.com or in the ESPN App
Edgar “The Chosen One” Berlanga (13-0, 13 KOs), the Puerto Rican puncher who calls Brooklyn home and has 13 first-round knockouts to begin his pro career, will return in an eight-round super middleweight bout Saturday, March 14 at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Berlanga’s bout will be part of the ESPN+ undercard stream (7 p.m. ET) before the ESPN-televised doubleheader (10:30 p.m. ET) that includes Shakur Stevenson’s WBO featherweight world title defense against Miguel Marriaga and the featherweight showdown between former world champion Jessie Magdaleno and Sakaria Lukas. The full undercard will be available in English and Spanish.
“Hopefully, I can get in some rounds on March 14,” Berlanga said. “I want to show everyone I’m more than a one-round fighter. This is my time to shine.”
Berlanga, a four-year pro, is one of the sport’s hottest prospects, a 22-year-old with an eraser in both hands. He went 4-0 in 2019 after signing a long-term promotional deal with Top Rank. He turned heads last December at Madison Square Garden on the Terence Crawford-Egidijus Kavaliauskas undercard, as he stopped Cesar Nunez (16-1-1 at the time) at 2:45 of the opening round. That marked the longest appearance of his career.
The ESPN+ stream is also scheduled to include the following bouts:
John “El Terrible” Bauza (13-0, 5 KOs), the Puerto Rican-born super lightweight prospect from North Bergen, N.J., will take on Brooklyn’s upset-minded Romain Tomas (8-3, 1 KO) in an eight-rounder.
Brooklyn’s Frederic Julian (12-0, 10 KOs) will look for his 10th consecutive knockout in a six-round light heavyweight fight against Victor Darocha (9-5-1, 6 KOs).
Mathew “Lefty Gunz” Gonzalez (10-0, 6 KOs), from the Ridgewood section of Queens, will fight West Virginia native Dakota Linger (12-3-2, 8 KOs) in a six-round welterweight tilt.
New York City native Pablo Valdez (3-0, 3 KOs) will face Jordan Morales (3-7, 2 KOs) in a four-rounder at welterweight. Valdez, 36, turned pro in July 2018 following an eight-year prison sentence.
Shakur Stevenson and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka Team Up to Inspire “Brick City” Youth
WBO featherweight world champion Shakur Stevenson was born and bred in Newark, a.k.a. “Brick City,” the oldest of nine children who dreamed of one day becoming a world champion and using his platform to give back to his community.
Stevenson, who won the title last October, will defend his belt for the first time Saturday from Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden against Miguel Marriaga (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). He joined forces with Newark Mayor Ras Baraka on Wednesday at the city’s Rotunda Recreation & Wellness Center to talk to a large group of local children about his journey from hometown kid to Olympic silver medalist and world champion.
Stevenson autographed posters, took photos, and gave each child an official Team Stevenson headband. Three days before his bout against Marriaga, Stevenson was all smiles and laughs, a champion embracing his celebratory homecoming.
“When I was younger, I didn’t have anyone to come and do something like this for me,” Stevenson said. “This means a lot to me. That’s why I enjoy coming here, and I will always try to come back to where it all started. You all make me feel good, and when I do something good, I do it for Newark.”
“Shakur Stevenson is a Newark native who has brought honor, Olympic glory, and a world championship to our city,” Mayor Baraka said. “Now he is bringing an inspiring message of hope, good sportsmanship, and empowerment to Newark’s youth, as a role model and exemplar. He defines the strength of Newark, and we are proud of him.”