Edgar Berlanga remained unbeaten on Saturday night, picking up a decision win over Roamer Alexis Angulo in an ESPN main event, but overshadowing the win and a performance that received mixed reviews was a bite — or attempted bite — in the seventh round of the fight, and more than that, Berlanga’s tone about it in the post-fight interview.
We talked about all of that on Sunday morning, and I expressed my belief that it was going to be another thing that gave people doubts about the 25-year-old fighter, whose buzz has steadily fallen with his last four outings, after being built on 16 straight first round stoppages to begin his pro career.
I noted at that time that Berlanga had not posted any apology or any other statement about it online, responding to that criticism that came not just from here, but also on the air from ESPN’s Mark Kriegel and all over social media and other boxing outlets, but he has done so now.
I want to apologize for my actions and what I said yesterday about the Mike Tyson bite. I was in the moment and got a little ahead of myself. It doesn’t take away from the embarrassment that I have caused upon myself, my team, top ranks, and many others.— Edgar Berlanga Jr (@EdgarBerlangaJr) June 12, 2022
I reacted poorly and take full responsibility. Moving forward, I am going to be more mindful and encouraging in my behavior. Once again, I do apologize.— Edgar Berlanga Jr (@EdgarBerlangaJr) June 12, 2022
Of course, this doesn’t erase that Berlanga (20-0, 16 KO) did try to bite Angulo, did joke about it post-fight, or the doubts some may have about his mentality and whatnot going forward, in addition to whatever you may think of his boxing skills.
But speaking only for myself, of course, I have no reason to not believe his apology, or the reasoning behind it. Things do happen in the heat of the moment, and even in the post-fight interview, Berlanga was surely still riding a wave of adrenaline from the fight. He was happy he’d won, he was in good spirits — the tone wasn’t right, and as Kriegel said, “It’s not a goof,” but he seems to fully understand that and isn’t trying to pass the buck for it at all.
Berlanga could be back before the summer is fully out, or at least should be expected to return by early autumn.
As for the Top Rank and ESPN boxing brand(s), they roll on this coming Saturday with a big main event, featuring Artur Beterbiev and Joe Smith Jr clashing to unify three light heavyweight titles.