Edgar Berlanga got the toughest test of his young pro career, but survived a 10-round challenge from veteran Marcelo Coceres, coming off the canvas and winning by unanimous decision.
Berlanga (18-0, 16 KO) was never going to knock out everyone in the first round, and his last two bouts have now gone a full distance. Coceres (30-3-1, 16 KO) gave Berlanga more to think about than Demond Nicholson did last time out, and while Nicholson went down four times while going the distance, this time is Berlanga floored. Coceres caught him lunging with a good shot late in the ninth round, but Berlanga was able to get up and go on to win.
Scores were 96-93 from all three judges, which is also what Bad Left Hook had.
It is a reminder that Berlanga, at 24, is still a pup in the sport. On paper, Coceres was a good step for him, and I think we saw the right sort of fight, something Berlanga needs. Fighters have to face some adversity along the way to max out who they can be. Berlanga is no perfect young fighter, but has obvious skills and for the first half of this fight especially, was boxing well, not trying to do too much — maybe even to the point you would liked to have seen him pick up the intensity a bit, as hanging around gave Coceres some confidence as the fight wore on.
But a good, solid win for a young fighter who hopes to be a major star. It’s expected that Berlanga will be back on Dec. 11 as part of the Lomachenko-Commey card, but that’s no guarantee.
Vladimir Hernandez SD-10 Julian Williams
An upset here, and one that was earned. This could have gone either way, but it’s hard not to feel watching the full fight that Hernandez (13-4, 6 KO) was the better fighter overall, even though I did score the fight 96-94 for Williams — that came with a lot of very close rounds that could have gone either way, and Hernandez dominated the last two rounds of this fight.
Scores were 96-94 and 97-93 for Hernandez, and 96-94 for Williams.
Hernandez, 32, was bbest known for his Aug. 2020 win over a badly faded Alfredo Angulo, and this was basically his same relentless approach, just constantly throwing punches, landing a lot, getting hit plenty but just impossible to deter.
It’s a terrible blow for Williams (27-3-1, 16 KO), a former 154 lb titleholder who hadn’t fought since he was trucked by Jeison Rosario in Jan. 2020. Williams picked Hernandez apart in the first two or three rounds, but Hernandez hung around and just kept pushing the pace. It was Williams who slowed down, and Hernandez just didn’t. By the end, Williams was basically just looking to survive the fight, and Hernandez was still going strong.