Teddy Atlas reckons Edgar Berlanga would have learned more in his last five fights than his first 16 combined.

The trainer and analyst believes that Berlanga did not develop much after an introduction to the pros that saw him win his first 16 fights, all by first-round knockouts.

Berlanga then went eight rounds with Demond Nicholson, had three 10-rounders to defeat Marcelo Cocerers, Steve Rolls and Roamer Alexis Angulo, and last time out – in June – defeated the Irishman Jason Quigley over 12 rounds.

“I think they hurt him, getting 16 one-round knockouts,” Atlas told ProBox TV. “It got him on the map; got him on the radar; got people talking about him within the sport; interested about him; excited about him; but what good did it do him? 

“It didn't teach him anything. It didn’t improve him. It didn’t improve him on his trajectory to being a better fighter, because at the end of the day, yeah you want to build a record, yeah you want to make money, yeah you want to build a fan base, but you want to become a better fighter.”

Berlanga is now 21-0 (16 KOs) and he fights the unbeaten Irishman Padraig McCrory in Orlando on Saturday. 

“Sixteen straight one-round knockouts doesn’t make you a better fighter,” added the Hall of Famer.

McCrory is unbeaten in 18 fights, but Matchroom’s Berlanga has been linked to huge future contests with the likes of Jaime Munguia and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.

“[Berlanga’s] started fighting better guys – guys he could have fought a little earlier – and he’s looking for the knockout,” Atlas continued. “I think he’s starting to get better now, I think he’s starting to turn the corner a little bit in that way and develop a little, but coming off 16 straight one-round knockouts, he was thinking, ‘I’m going to hit the guy; I’m going to go home’ and he wasn’t developing the things that all fighters have to develop. All of the assets and qualities that you have to develop to be a top pro; to be a world champ. 

“I really thought that stagnated him a little bit. But I think now he is getting to where he needs to be able to identify who he needs to be.”

Atlas, who has worked with the likes of Timothy Bradley, Michael Moorer, and Shannon Briggs, believes the education is in the rounds and the experience – not in the ability to blast opponents out in quick order. 

“You’re giving guys cannon fodder,” he continued. “You’re not giving them guys that you’re going to take away anything and say, ‘Okay, he got better with this; he had to use his jab more; he had to cut the ring down more; he had to go to the body more; he had to move his head more in this fight; he had to control distance more’. You’re not getting any of that. He had to walk across the ring, hit the guy and go home.

“I take a strong stance on that as a trainer. At the end of the day, you’re not doing them [prospects] any favours. I think he’s working his way out of that situation, where he’s putting together the mindset, the technical things you have to put together to get to that next place. And he has fought better fighters in his last five fights.” 

Atlas thinks the stage is set for Berlanga this weekend to make an impression and cause a stir at super middleweight, which is becoming one of boxing’s gala divisions – with Canelo, Jermall Charlo, Diego Pacheco, David Benavidez, Caleb Plant, David Morrell, Demetrius Andrade, Munguia and Christian Mbilli.  

“I think this fight is a coming out party,” said Atlas. “Really, we’ve forgot about him a little bit. 

“This fight is important… Is he the next guy to be excited about, and can he be a player at 168lbs?”