Undercard Action From Berlanga-Quigley Madison Square Garden Theater Card



Undercard Action From Berlanga-Quigley Madison Square Garden Theater Card

In the Berlanga-Quigley/Matchroom card opener, lightweight Ofacio Falcon went to 10-0, beating Pedro Vicente from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico at the Madison Square Garden Theater in Manhattan on Saturday evening. 

Emcee David Diamante read the scores…by UD, after six, 60-54, times three, for “The Sniper.”

June 24, 2023; New York, NY, USA; Ring announcer David Diamante during the Matchroom Boxing card on Saturday, June 24, 2023 at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. Photo: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.

In the sixth, Falcon, a Bronx native, kept steady, didn’t look to try to close it out with a flourish.

Then he did, he stepped up the combos, hoping to maybe get the 7th stoppage. He peppered the loser, who made it to the final bell.

He was punching near the final bell, too, it was noted. 

Vicente made the winner work reasonably hard, he gave him some rounds and experience, and dropped to 7-6-1. 

The fights streamed on DAZN, for those not in attendance.

Pablo Valdez Goes To 7-0

Pablo Valdez, age 40, goes to 7-0 on Matchroom card at MSG Theater, June 24, 2023

June 24, 2023; New York, NY, USA; Pablo Valdez knocks down Demian Daniel Fernandez during their fight on Saturday, June 24, 2023 at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.

Pablo Valdez, a 40 year old junior middleweight, met Argentine Demain Fernandez in a super welterweight battle. 

Valdez did 8 years for drugs, and then got out and has been pursuing the boxing dream since debuting as a pro in 2019. The NYC based athlete looks younger than stated age, with just a slight midsection roll hinting at his true DOB range. 

Down went the loser in the third. He beat the count, then Valdez pursued. The 34 year old Fernandez tried to run, he got caught, and actually countered decently. Fernandez really hustled trying to get distance, he was in full reverse. He did well to last the round. 

In the fourth, an assault from Valdez crumpled Fernandez in a corner. He took a count, from Arthur Mercante, and couldn’t beat it. The time of the ending: 54 seconds into the fourth…the winner by TKO, Pablo Valdezzzzz.

Light Heavyweight Battle Sees NJ Fighter Khalil Coe Get the Victory

Khalil Coe (6-0-1) beat Buneet Bisla (7-1) of Canada in a light heavyweight tussle, between New Jersey’s Coe and the Canadian athlete, via TKO7.

Bisla went down in the first. Would finish him? He stabbed a jab to the gut, pressed..and almost got in a double knockdown.

The Khoe-Bisla almost double knockdown

June 24, 2023; New York, NY, USA; Khalil Coe knocks down Buneet Bisla during their bout on Saturday, June 24, 2023 at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom

But it was Bisla who hit the deck, again, off a stinger right hand.  He hung on for dear life, as Coe stalked. Bloodied, bowed…but he did make it to his corner. 

To round two—good work to the body with the jab by Coe. Coe didn’t get stupid or overwrought. He stayed patient, did work to break down Bisla, who to his credit stayed in the game.

In the third, Coe saw blood from the nose and aimed for it, and the body, and other places. A long jab snapped on Bisla, he tried to slide and pivot and get distance between him and Coe. Coe is quite patient—it could be argued that he could have been less so, but hey, might as well get that work. And Bisla kept hanging tough, to his credit. 

In the fourth, Coe lost a bit of snap, so the pace was more manageable for the Canadian. More than a bit, some of us were noticing ringside. In round five, Coe did indeed snap a peppier jab. Bisla was the same, hopping and moving, being wary, using feints to avoid contact, surviving. Coe switched to lefty late in the round, for the record.

In the sixth, we saw snappy Coe, early. The blood on the nose of Bisla was back, and he couldn’t like the left hook to the body that sent him back a step. 

In the seventh, Coe did the same, he went forward, and hurt Bisla. A four punch final combo convinced the ref to intercede. Good outing from Coe, who kept on pressing, patiently, and broke a man down. 

Yankee Rivera went to 4-0 at MSG Theater on June 24, 2023.

Yankiel Rivera and Christian Robles during their fight on Saturday, June 24, 2023 at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. Rivera got the W. Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.

Yankiel Rivera from Toa Alta, Puerto Rico took on Christian Robles out of California in a 112 pound matchup.

El Doctocito in the first looked like he might pull away, with aggression and flurrying. It settled down. In round two, the lefty Rivera let bombs fly, you heard a nice thump from his lands. He targeted the body, stayed light on his feet, and sought to impose his will on the Cali man. 

Would Robles Make The Distance?

In the third, Rivera caught the guy coming in. He really caught him  in the  fourth, with clubbing rights. Righty, squared up, he ripped Robles. How he stayed up….His legs were bad after a left sent him to the mat. Miracle he made it to the end of the round. The docs took a double hard look at Robles after the round. 

In the fifth, did Robles have his legs? Enough to look pretty recovered, yes. He actually got some work done in tight. How about that, he was soooo precarious in the prior round, Robles showed toughness galore. 

In the sixth, Rivera got nastier to start this round. He also got more accurate, he was choosing his punches and range a little different now. Robles landed the odd counter, and he wasn’t 50-50 with Rivera, but the action was competitive. 

In the seventh, ripping from Rivera. He had nasty intent. Robles had courageous intent, he was wanting to hang in. He got clipped on the chin, clean, but there he was, there doing battle. 

In the eighth, same pressure from Rivera, he hesitated more, maybe he was looking for more wind. Or he just figured, hey, Robles is a badass, let's get the D.

The scores went: 79-72, 78-73, 77-74, for Rivera, y’all. Rivera is now 4-0, 2 KOs, Robles went to 8-1. 

Reshat Mati From Staten Island Gets The Stop

In a junior welterweight scrap, Reshat Mati from Staten Island went to 14-0, beating Dakota Linger, now 13–6-3, from West Virginia. Mati gained a stoppage in round nine, with a flurry that had ref Arthur Mercante pulling the plug, at 59 seconds. 

He landed a few solid hits but I didn’t see anything that warranted a stop at the time. Or on replay…

Reshat Mati and Dakota Linger during their fight on Saturday, June 24, 2023 at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. The quick ending surprised those on hand. Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.

Linger’s last fight he came up big, downing Josue Vargas on June 11, 2022, via TKO2. Linger had lost to Matt Gonzalez, then 12-0, and Brandun Lee, then 20-0.

Mati, age 24, is called “The Albanian Bear.” He is cornered by Andre Rozier, from Brownsville, Brooklyn. 

In the first, Mati looked to see what he had in front of him. He had a height edge. Linger aka “Lone Wolf” wanted to catch Mati with a counter. Mati looked to be aware of that strategy. Mati moved some late in the round, for a different look. 

In the second, Mati looked to score with speed. Linger sensed he was more dangerous, so he started to get more aggressive. The uppercut worked for Mati a few times, for the record.Mati allowed himself to be pursued late in the round. He was trying different looks and methods.

In the third, Mati started out moving, looking to create off angles. Linger wanted to assert himself so he tried to exert pressure. He was hesitant to throw when he got close, though, fearing counters. Mati threw a sharp jab late, rounding out the round. 

In the fourth, that uppercut, the left hand this time, from Mati. His jab had zip, he kept moving, and looked quite confident that the turf belonged to him. Linger really signaled aggression he looked to wade in and maybe catch Mati with something. That the did, nothing monumental, but touches nonetheless, late in the session. 

In the fifth, Mati moved, popped a jab, made Linger follow him. The West Virginia man heard “work, work” from his corner, as he hustled to stay in the face of Mati. The New Yorker stayed smart, focused, alert. 

In the sixth, more of the same, it wasn’t thrilling but Mati is learning. His pivots and slides kept Linger a step behind most of the time. His left uppercut probably stood out as his most effective punch. 

In the seventh, the action looked like the previous rounds, basically. They tumbled to the mat, Mati did a flip up that the peeps liked. 

In the eighth, Linger stayed true to form, he would surge at Mati, like he meant him harm, and Mati would blunt his charge, get off, get out. His head movement, his defense, was on point. A left uppercut which whipped back the head of Linger drew a cheer from Mati fans. 

In the ninth, Mati kept up the smart movement, solid timing, and then bang…it was over. The ending took most all by surprise. 

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.