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David Benavidez open to fighting Edgar Berlanga ‘whenever he’s ready’

The former two-time titlist has noticed the hot Top Rank prospect.

Errol Spence Jr. v Shawn Porter Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

David Benavidez has taken notice of hot knockout artist prospect Edgar Berlanga, and the former two-time WBC super middleweight titleholder told Max Kellerman on ESPN’s “Max on Boxing” that he’s ready to face the rising star when Berlanga is ready.

“I think Edgar Berlanga is an amazing fighter. I think he’s a very strong fighter,” Benavidez. said. “But I don’t think he’s proven yet. If he wants to get that fight going, though, we’re the same age; I feel like I’m all for that fight, too. I think it would be a big fight for Mexico and Puerto Rico.

“I feel like I would beat Edgar Berlanga. Whenever he’s ready to come take that fight, I’m right here, I’m ready to take that fight whenever. Tell me when he wants to make that fight, and we’ll make it happen.”

Benavidez (23-0, 20 KO) is currently set to return Mar. 13 on Showtime, where he’ll face Ronald Ellis (18-1-2, 12 KO). The 24-year-old last fought on Aug. 15, beating Roamer Alexis Angulo without any trouble, but also badly missing weight and giving up the WBC belt for the second time without ever having lost it in the ring. He’ll be a heavy favorite against Ellis, too, and the WBC still rank him as the No. 1 contender for their title, now held by Canelo Alvarez, though Benavidez is unlikely to get another shot at the belt this year, with Canelo having other plans.

Berlanga (16-0, 16 KO) has stopped every opponent he’s faced in the first round, but the 23-year-old is fully aware that the competition is going to get tougher. Berlanga’s power is no mirage, though, or at least it sincerely seems as though it isn’t. There’s a particular heaviness to his shots, even when he’s not really pressing for knockouts. He clearly enjoys the streak, and should, as it’s given him attention.

But Berlanga is aware that he needs to get rounds in at some point, and that everyone will not crumble in one. He recently said he plans to fight four times in 2021, and at that time had noted Benavidez as a “hater,” and compared their early records.

“He should look into the BoxRec and understand the first 16 opponents he fought and the first 16 opponents I’ve fought,” Berlanga said. “I’ve been fighting and stopping guys with winning records that have never been stopped before.”

Benavidez-Berlanga definitely isn’t going to happen next, but it’s one that people will have in mind from here. They’ve both mentioned the idea, and it’s something to think about for the future.

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