Heavy-handed boxer Edgar “The Chosen One” Berlanga does his best to maintain a bond with his Puerto Rican roots. Although he is not fluent in Spanish, that is not an impediment for him to try to start a conversation.
Berlanga is a hot prospect in the super middleweight division, with an undefeated record of 15-0 - and all 15 of those fights have ended by knockout in the first round.
“For me it is important to come to the island more often to make people understand who I am and what my personality is. I've been to various gyms [in Puerto Rico] and people thanked me for being so humble," Berlanga explained to reporter Carlos Gonzalez.
“My father says I'm like a home run player… that's the one people want to see. In boxing, I am the one that everyone wants to see for the knockouts."
If Berlanga continues his streak of first round knockouts, he could eventually set a historical record. The current record is 21 first round knockouts, set by Ali Raymi. The second boxer on the list is Tyrone Brunson with 19 and Edwin Valero follows next with a first round KO count of 18.
“It's something I keep in the back of my mind. I do not like to draw attention to that situation because I know that eventually the moment will come when I'll pass the first [round], so I always prepare myself as if I were going to fight twelve rounds," Berlanga said.
That streak has earned him comparisons to big-name figures like Mike Tyson, a former undisputed heavyweight champion who scored a brutal knockouts in the first half of his career.
“It's good to be compared, but I want to build my own legacy and I'm doing it. It is exciting to be mentioned in the same breath as Tito Trinidad, Miguel Cotto, Wilfred Benítez and Macho Camacho. But I have achieved nothing. Maybe I have reached 20%. of the road. It is a long journey. I have not yet won a world championship or made a defense of it," Berlanga said.
Berlanga is scheduled to fight again on December 12 at the MGM Grand's Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. On the same evening, lightweight Félix “Diamante” Verdejo will see action.