Edgar Berlanga vs Padraig McCrory: Can ‘The Chosen One’ Win By KO?



Edgar Berlanga vs Padraig McCrory: Can ‘The Chosen One’ Win By KO?

Edgar Berlanga will aim to get his first knockout since December 2020 when he faces Padraig McCrory this Saturday night at the Caribe Royale Orlando.

Still only 26 years old, Berlanga looked like a special talent when he made his debut in 2016.

‘The Chosen One’ captured 16 knockouts in a row and after stopping Ulises Sierra in the first round at the end of 2020, Berlanga was viewed by some as a future boxing superstar.

Edgar Berlanga, 9-0 with first round KOs, has signed on with Top Rank.

Then…Edgar Berlanga, 9-0 with first round KOs, has signed on with Top Rank.

South American heritage, immense punching power, and good looks, greatness seemed destined for Berlanga.

Berlanga was making such an impression on the boxing fraternity that he was being touted as a future opponent for Canelo Alvarez.

The rivalry between Mexico and Puerto Rico has always been fierce and Canelo-Berlanga was viewed as a highly lucrative matchup.

However, like a stack of cards, Berlanga’s reputation in the last few years has come tumbling down.

It started with Demond Nicholson in 2021. Despite winning a wide decision and dropping Nicholson down four times, his knockout streak was over. No one could deny this was a brilliant performance, yet the reality was Nicholson had been stopped twice prior.

Although the real alarm bells started to ring against Marcelo Coceres when Berlanga was floored in the ninth round. Coceres, whose left eye was almost completely shut, sensed Berlanga was hurt and went for the stoppage, yet couldn’t quite take advantage.

Edgar Berlanga landed good power shots on Marcelo Coceres but the Argentinean wasn't budging. Photo: Frank Micelotta/Fox Sports/PictureGroup Edgar Berlanga survives

Edgar Berlanga landed good power shots on Marcelo Coceres but the Argentinean wasn't budging. Photo: Frank Micelotta/Fox Sports/PictureGroup

Berlanga had dominated the contest but he was caught flush on the chin numerous times and once again, he couldn’t get the knockout.

In 2022, the mediocre performances continued. Berlanga won a close decision against Steve Rolls who he was unable to drop, let alone knock out.

This was before the New York native experienced the toughest fight of his professional career with Roamer Alexis Angulo.

Angulo was so powerful and dangerous that Berlanga was forced to abandon his usual come-forward aggressive style in order to escape with a 10-round points victory.

Then, at the start of 2023, Berlanga split with Top Rank before signing a multi-million dollar deal with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom.

On his DAZN debut, Berlanga dropped Jason Quigley four times en route to claiming another win by decision, albeit producing one of his best displays in recent years.

June 24, 2023; New York, NY, USA; Edgar Berlanga and Jason Quigley during their fight on Saturday, June 24, 2023 at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.

Berlanga’s next opponent, McCrory, is in many ways the complete opposite of him.

The Irishman has never been widely acclaimed as a superstar or future world champion. He has fought in Belfast on all but one occasion when traveling to Frankfurt for a bout against the formerly undefeated Leon Bunn, whom he stopped in the sixth round.

And this Saturday will be the first time ‘The Hammer’ fights in America.

Now 35, McCrory is almost ten years older than Berlanga too.

But the man from Northern Ireland is also undefeated and hasn’t taken much punishment since turning pro in 2017, so despite his age, he is not a battle-worn fighter.

An interesting element of McCrory’s career is that he has weighed in as high as 176 lbs two fights ago against Dmytro Fedas.

Therefore, like Berlanga at six foot one, he is certainly not a small super middleweight. In fact, it’s possible he is the naturally heavier and bigger man because Berlanga’s career highest weight on the scales was 169 lbs.

Unfortunately for McCrory, with a 50% knockout ratio, he might not possess the punching power required to get Berlanga’s respect in the ring.

After all, McCrory hasn’t stopped or knocked anyone out since late 2022 and if Berlanga’s previous fights are anything to go by, he struggles more with opponents who have a bit of pop in their shots.

Furthermore, when you look at McCrory’s resume, it’s difficult to find any standout victories.

A fifth-round stoppage win against Marco Antonio Periban is a decent statement, yet the Mexican had already been flattened by James Degale and Joshua Buatsi, in addition to suffering losses at the hands of Sakio Bika, J’Leon Love, and Avni Yildirim.

Still, when a fighter has not tasted defeat, they are always more difficult to beat.

McCrory might be coming off an average triumph against Steed Woodall and look tailor-made for Berlanga due to his upright style that is very susceptible to an overhand right.

However, Berlanga’s shaky performances in the last few years should give McCrory some confidence.

Berlanga has been hurt before and looked beatable so it is down to the Irishman to implement his game plan and capitalise.

Ultimately though, the bookies have Berlanga as a strong favourite and the scene is set for him to break his knockout drought.

Dan D’Alessio is a boxing journalist and fitness enthusiast. When Dan is not behind his desk writing articles, he is smashing pads, kicking a ball or lifting weights at the gym