Edgar Berlanga stayed unbeaten but once again is going to have plenty of skeptics, though he won pretty wide cards against Jason Quigley at New York’s Hulu Theater.
Berlanga went to 21-0 (16 KO) on scores of 116-108, 116-108, and 118-106. Bad Left Hook unofficially scored the fight 113-111 for Berlanga, with two legit 12th round knockdowns making the final difference on our card that doesn’t count.
Berlanga, 26, also scored knockdowns in the third and fifth rounds, the latter a poor call from referee Harvey Dock.
Quigley, 32, is now 20-3 (14 KO), and in some ways had one of his best pro performances, fighting smart and neutralizing a lot of Berlanga’s attempts at aggression, until the final round when Berlanga really turned up the heat, and Quigley just couldn’t avoid him.
“I give it a C,” Berlanga said about his performance. “We had a great camp. I’m just glad I did it once again in front of my hometown people.”
“He knew I was coming to fight. Everybody that steps in the ring with me knows I got punching power and they train to survive, to try to box and move around. But I take my hat off to his team. They tried to have a great game plan for me. Every fighter that I face at his level, they’re gonna try to run and move around. I’m just grateful we got the victory. I was looking for a knockout, I was looking for a TKO.”
“I was supposed to step on the pedal early, and I was just leaning back, staying on my jab, trying to catch the distance. We’re just going back to the drawing board. I get back in the gym in a week, and I get ready for what’s next.”
As for what’s next, Berlanga said he wants a big fight, naming Jaime Munguia and Gennadiy Golovkin, two guys who — in theory, anyway — he could get.
“I want to fight the best now. I feel like it’s that time. I want the Munguias, the GGGs, those type of guys. We’re looking forward to fighting once again this year and hopefully we get a big fight.
“We just scraped the rust off (tonight). I knew it what it was gonna be like, shaking the rust off, getting that killer mentality back. I knew he wasn’t gonna come to fight. I said it was gonna be a difficult fight.”
Berlanga believes that he’ll show even more against better opposition.
“All these guys are gonna try to survive, until I get to that top level with the Munguias and these guys, where they’re gonna try to knock me out just like I’m gonna try to knock them out.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn said he believes Munguia vs Berlanga would be a “tremendous” fight, which I think many would agree with or at least like to see, but it would remain to be seen if Hearn and Oscar De La Hoya could actually come to terms on that fight.
Berlanga vs Quigley highlights
Undercard highlights and results
- Joe Cusumano TKO-8 Adam Kownacki (2:00): This was an absolute war, first of all. Cusumano gets the biggest win of his career by far, while Kownacki loses his fourth straight, coming off the canvas in round one to give this a great effort, but whatever used to be there is too far gone. It’s not all the way gone, but this is not a guy who had a style or talent level to lose 20% and still be good, he lost the 20% or so and it’s made him really too vulnerable.
I agree with what will be obvious calls for Kownacki (20-4, 15 KO) to retire, and he might, but don’t be surprised if he fights again; dismayed or fearful if he does, sure, but not surprised. It’s boxing. You’ve all seen boxers fight way too long. Cusumano (22-4, 20 KO) gets something to hang his hat on here, but he’s 35 and just a pure club fight slugger, nothing wrong with that, but if you saw him fight Daniel Dubois you know his level. Both these heavyweights deserve a lot of praise for this fight, less to referee David Fields who seemed determined to give Kownacki an incredibly long leash even with the doctor and Kownacki’s corner on the apron screaming for him to stop the fight.
- Reshat Mati TKO-9 Dakota Linger (0:59): Mati improves to 14-0 (8 KO) with the win, and Linger (13-6-3, 9 KO) has still never been down in his career. Referee Arthur Mercante stopped this because he just felt Linger was taking too much punishment, which I think is fair. I had it 78-74 Mati at the time of the stoppage, and the two rounds I gave to Linger were largely because Mati hurt his left hand and had to adjust to that, which he did. The injury part is not good, as Mati’s development has stalled just a bit due to injury issues, but overall he looked pretty sharp at 140, and Linger once again deserves real credit and respect for being an incredibly tough dude.
- Yankiel Rivera UD-8 Christian Robles (77-74, 78-73, 79-72): Good fight! Entertaining! More in that regard than it was booked to be, if we want to be honest. Rivera (4-0, 2 KO) dropped Robles (8-1, 3 KO) pretty good in the fourth round on a great shot, but didn’t have this all his way, and Robles gave a fine accounting of himself. A lot of heart, a lot of determination, and also gave us some looks at Rivera having a fairly leaky defense and being very much an offense-first fighter. Rivera may have limits, but at the absolute very least, this looks like a guy who’s gonna be consistently fun to watch.