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Berlanga vs Nicholson results and highlights: Edgar Berlanga’s knockout streak ends, but he wins wide decision

The first round streak is over. The knockout streak is over. The undefeated streak remains for Edgar Berlanga.

Emanuel Navarrete v Christopher Diaz Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

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!”

Undercard Results

  • Josue Vargas UD-10 Willie Shaw: Shaw had some moments here, in the first and fifth rounds mainly, but when Vargas (19-1, 9 KO) didn’t try to do too much and stayed at the right range and didn’t make big tactical errors, it was pretty clearly his fight, and the 98-92, 99-91, and 99-91 scores rightly reflected that. BLH also had it 98-92 for Vargas, who is 22 and still getting sort of mixed reactions at times, but clearly a talented young junior welterweight, too. Shaw (13-3, 9 KO) continues to be a decent test for young fighters, and he’s got enough power in his right hand that one of these nights, one of them might make the wrong mistake.
  • 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.
  • Orlando Gonzalez UD-8 Juan Antonio Lopez: Good TV here, good fight to watch. Action throughout, no crazy drama but no lulls, either. Gonzalez (17-0, 10 KO) may be a bit low ceiling (that’s my opinion), but the 25-year-old southpaw featherweight is a good fighter, and he warmed nicely to this one. Lopez (15-9, 6 KO) definitely came to win, but Gonzalez had the steadier work and landed some good shots. Lopez, 27, was tough as hell, and while this isn’t exactly going to go down in the Mexico vs Puerto Rico book of legendary fights, it was a good one, very spirited.
  • Xander Zayas TKO-1 Demarcus Layton: Zayas (8-0, 6 KO) is an 18-year-old Puerto Rican welterweight, tall kid at 147 as he’s 5’10”, faced an even taller guy in the 6’2” Layton here. Zayas went right at him, and Layton was there to fight, but Zayas hurt him on a left hook and then closed the show in 56 seconds. Layton (8-2-1, 5 KO) didn’t like the stoppage, he’d gotten up from being dropped, but it wasn’t a bad call. Zayas is a young fighter who has some buzz, Top Rank clearly like him a lot, and he’s become a crowd favorite in Kissimmee, where he fought a couple times last fall on non-TR cards to stay busy without having to do the Vegas bubble, since he’s from Florida.
  • Jeremy Adorno MD-4 Ramiro Martinez: Good fight here, scores were 38-38, 39-37, and 40-36, and I think all were fair. I had it 40-36 for Adorno, but Martinez definitely had an argument in the fourth and may have had one in the second or third, too. He caught Adorno almost every round at least a little bit, but Adorno (5-0, 1 KO) was faster and sharper, and probably offered himself up to be hit a bit more than he needed. Martine (2-1-2, 1 KO) is really not a bad fighter at all, 22 years old and you can see there’s potential there, something a good trainer could work with; I bet we see him again.
  • Jaycob Gomez KO-1 Mobley Villegas: An absolute wipeout here, as the 19-year-old Puerto Rican southpaw Gomez, a junior lightweight, goes to 2-0 (2 KO) by putting Villegas (3-2, 2 KO) away in 2:38. Gomez came out firing in this one and just overwhelmed his 28-year-old opponent. Villegas went down twice and took the 10 count the second time, totally out of anything near an answer for Gomez’s assault.

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