Edgar Berlanga not only went to his first second round as a professional, but he went the full distance for the first time.
Berlanga’s run of 16 straight first round knockouts to start his career came to an end, as a tough and game Demond Nicholson proved exactly the step up veteran opponent many felt the Puerto Rican prospect needed. Berlanga scored four official knockdowns of Nicholson, but went the full eight-round distance.
Official scores were 79-68, 79-69, and 79-69. Bad Left Hook scored the fight 79-69 on two separate unofficial score cards, as well.
Berlanga (17-0, 16 KO) really didn’t press at all for the KO in the first round, seeming like he was happy to take it if it came to him, but not shooting for it. When the bell sounded to end the round, Berlanga motioned to the crowd to relax — he was in control. It felt, in a way, like maybe Berlanga was happy enough to not have to talk about the streak anymore.
From there, Berlanga started opening up some more. He scored official knockdowns in the second, third, and fifth rounds, but all were somewhat questionable calls by the referee. Less questionable was a knockdown late in the eighth and final round, that one was for real, and it was perhaps an indication that Berlanga — who did tire some in his first fight of any length as a pro — will carry his power later into fights.
All in all, the fight achieved a few things. It ended the streak, which might be for the best in general. It gave Berlanga valuable, useful experience against a guy in Nicholson (23-4-1, 20 KO) who did not come to get run over by any means, and had a plan he did his best to execute. And it was also a good reminder: Berlanga is a really good prospect at the very least, but he remains a prospect, completely a work in progress with a long way to go.
Berlanga gave himself a grade of “C” for the win.
“I could have done a lot better, there were things I should have did, but we got the job done,” Berlanga said after the win. “(Trainer Andre Rozier) was telling me to throw the jab and throw body shots. But I didn’t follow instructions so he had to give me push-ups (after the fight).”
Asked what he wanted next, Berlanga as usual made no big call-outs.
“I just continue to get experience, training hard, and stay in the gym. I need my endurance in the ring to get better and better. It was an awesome experience in front of my people, Puerto Rico is here!”
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- Joseph Adorno D-8 Jamaine Ortiz: I liked this matchup a lot coming in, two unbeaten guys with something to prove, Adorno coming off of a draw and some weight issues last year, Ortiz a guy who’s fought mostly on smaller cards without spotlight. But this was even better than I expected. Tremendous fight, an eight-round war. Ortiz (14-0-1, 8 KO) was the better fighter here overall, out-worked Adorno (14-0-2, 12 KO), far more consistent, but Adorno scored knockdowns in the second and seventh rounds, and that tipped it back even. I had it 76-74 Ortiz in the end, which is how one judge saw it, but the two 75-75 scores that made it a draw were totally fair; a lot probably depends how you scored the close fourth round. I nicked it to Ortiz. If you missed this one, watch it. It’s also another argument for matching prospects against other prospects.
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