Edgar Berlanga has made his choice, and the super middleweight has signed with Matchroom Boxing on a multi-fight deal, following his parting ways with Top Rank about a month ago.
Berlanga, 25, was immediately a hot commodity as a free agent, notably meeting with both Matchroom and Golden Boy, looking around for the best fit for his career going forward.
In the end, the Matchroom choice always seemed the safest from the outside, mainly because they have been the promoter for five of Canelo Alvarez’s six fights since Canelo’s nasty split with Golden Boy in 2020, and a Canelo fight is Berlanga’s ultimate goal.
The Puerto Rican from Brooklyn last fought in June 2022, beating Roamer Alexis Angulo via 10-round decision, his fourth straight decision win after starting his career with 16 straight first round stoppages, which led to a lot of hype from ESPN and Top Rank, and that hype was yanked back pretty aggressively when he stopped stopping everyone within three minutes.
He also faced a fair bit of controversy after that win over Angulo, taking a bite at his opponent and then joking about it after. The backlash was immediate, not just from fans and social media, but from ESPN’s Mark Kriegel on the broadcast that very night. To his credit, Berlanga apologized and took responsibility for the incident.
But he remains all of the things we’ve said so far — unbeaten, 25 years old, a Puerto Rican with a strong New York fan base — and that made him very much worth a roll of the dice from pretty much any promoter in the game, with only a few even possibly having the resources to bring him on.
“I’m looking for the big fights and I know signing with Matchroom was the right choice to get me to where I want to go,” Berlanga said. “I’m humbled by this opportunity, and I will dedicate myself into becoming the best 168 lber in the world. My main goal is to the land the Canelo fight and renew the greatest rivalry in boxing, Mexico vs Puerto Rico.”
“I am delighted to have won the race for Edgar’s signature,” said Hearn. “It is no surprise that everyone wanted to snap him up — he has a great fanbase, he is a real character and most importantly, he can do the business in spectacular fashion in the ring.
“Edgar wants to be a world champion and the fight he wants is Canelo Alvarez. We are plotting a route for him to land that showdown with Canelo, and Edgar is ready to take on the best of the 168 lb division to prove he is ready to meet the undisputed champion in classic Mexico vs Puerto Rico blockbuster.”