The undercard for the anticipated lightweight clash, between the sublime operator Vasiliy Lomachenko and the eager power hitter with the Brooklyn edge to his personality, Teofimo Lopez, has some bouts on it that are actually compelling on paper.
That’s a good thing, and by no means a given, with “big” fight cards. Top Rank bossman Bob Arum over the years has told us that polls show 98% of the watchers mostly care about the main event. But bones are being tossed us hardcores, with the Arnold Barboza-Alex Saucedo bout, as well as the step-up test for Edgar Berlanga. The super middleweight from NY, seeking to elevate himself to where he’s a legit magnet for Puerto Rican fight fans, meets Lanell Bellows at the Bubble in Las Vegas.
Berlanga has a streak of 14 stops, all inside the first round, and the 20-5-3 Bellows has never been stopped. The Las Vegas vet, who turns 35 on Nov. 27, told NYFights that he’s not entering the ring merely to make a payday, and make a point, by getting into the second round.
“Berlanga is a hype job that has power but very little experience and a questionable chin and heart,” Bellows told me on Friday, late night. “I respect him but I’ma disrespectfully beat his ass tomorrow!”
I told Lanell, a pro since 2012, he looked superb on the scale. And the Mayweather Promotions pugilist is feeling good mentally, too?
“I’m feelin’ great physically and mentally,” he replied. “I’m focused as usual and I’m prepared for whateva this fight brings.”
And is Lanell seeing this one as a real stiff challenge, on paper? Is he thinking Berlanga is indeed all that, coming in, or is the jury out on the 14-0 boxer, until he sees what he’s got, with his own eyes?
Yes, he replied, he sees Berlanga tasting defeat for the first time as a pro this evening. “That 0 definitely gotta go,” Bellows replied. “But you can word that whichever way you decide.”
Bellows was born in Kansas City, and raised in Southern California. He has two sons, Lanell Jr and Lavell. The oldest of four kids, two brothers, one sis, he is said to be family oriented. “My family creed is FOE, Family Over Everything,” he told me. “I’m a momma’s boy, but not a momma’s punk!” He shared that his mom Michelle is big in his life, and he lauds his dad (Cornell) and he gives props to his step-father (Don’t Johnson) for being a standup guy. “I’m a hard worker and all who know me can vouvh for that!”
And did Bellows pick up on anything at the Friday weigh in, at the MGM? Savor this response, please. If his in ring effort matches his way with words…well, lookout Mr. Berlanga. “Absolutely! I seen it in his eyes and his demeanor,” Bellows shared. “I’m not new to this, I’m true to this.”