Edgar Berlanga and Top Rank parted ways because the boxer felt that his career wasn’t being guided in a direction or pace that he felt he was ready for.
The 25-year-old Berlanga (20-0, 16 KOs) has strung wins against the likes of Roamer Alexis Angulo, Steve Rolls, Marcelo Esteban Coceres, and Demond Nicholson in his last four fights.
The performances have been a stark contrast from when he knocked out 16 in a row to kick off his career.
Regardless, Berlanga believes he is ready for world-class competition.
“For me, probably my next fight, obviously he's fighting Canelo [Alvarez] possibly, but it would be a guy like John Ryder, or not, just to get my feet wet, a Gary O'Sullivan. A guy like that. And then move on and possibly get the Canelo fight before fighting a guy like Jaime Munguia or something like that,” Berlanga told co-hosts Akin Reyes and Barak Bess on “The DAZN Boxing Show.”
“I feel like right now I'm in a situation where I want to prove myself. [Top Rank] gave me options we didn't like. We wanted to fight guys like John Ryder. His team wanted it. I wanted it. It just didn't happen. I want to prove to myself that I am the best at 168 pounds. Obviously, it's taking that larger step with those types of opponents.”
The super middleweight Berlanga is ranked No. 4 by the WBO, WBA, and IBF, and No. 12 by the WBC.
Alvarez is the undisputed champion and controls the world title picture at 168 pounds.
“Canelo is the fight everyone wants. People can say 'Berlanga is not ready.' To me, that's just the critics talking. At the end of the day, a fighter has to believe in himself. You don't know that you're ready until it's there,” said the Brooklyn-based boxer.
Berlanga, however, somewhat poured cold water on his master plan in the same interview by indicating that he’d like a tune-up type of fight for his ring return.
“I went through these  rounds [in my last four fights], and I gained experience,” he said. “This next fight that's coming, I'd like to get my feet wet a little bit from this little layoff that I had, and from there move on and get a bigger fight.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.
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