Edgar Berlanga received confirmation Wednesday from an MRI that he indeed suffered a torn left biceps Saturday night during his points victory over Marcelo Coceres.
BoxingScene.com has been informed that the short head on the lower portion of Berlanga’s biceps is completely torn. He’ll have surgery, probably at some point within the next week, and will need three months of inactivity to fully recover from his injury.
If the unbeaten Berlanga recuperates according to schedule, the heavily hyped super middleweight will return to the ring on an undetermined date in March somewhere in Puerto Rico. Had Berlanga (18-0, 16 KOs) exited the ring unscathed Saturday night, his promoter, Top Rank Inc., had planned to bring him back relatively quickly in the co-feature of the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Richard Commey card December 11 at Madison Square Garden.
The 24-year-old Berlanga beat Coceres convincingly on the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder undercard at T-Mobile Arena. The Brooklyn native was limited somewhat for seven-plus rounds, though, because he suffered this serious injury to his left arm during the third round.
Coceres exploited some of Berlanga’s defensive flaws by hitting him with several clean punches in the middle rounds. A game Cocerces connected with a counter right hand that knocked an off-balance Berlanga to the canvas for the first time as a pro.
Berlanga seemed more angry than hurt after he was knocked flat on his back. The prideful Puerto Rican fighter quickly regained control of their 10-round bout and conquered Coceres by the same score, 96-93, on the cards of judges Eric Cheek, Patricia Morse Jarman and Ricardo Ocasio.
Despite his injury, the flash knockdown and some of Coceres’ offensive success raised questions about Berlanga as a 168-pound contender. After knocking out each of his first 16 pro opponents in the first round, Berlanga also went the distance in a second straight bout.
The 30-year-old Coceres (30-3-1, 16 KOs) gave former WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders some difficulty during their November 2019 bout at Staples Center in Los Angeles. England’s Saunders (30-1, 14 KOs), who isn’t known as a puncher, trailed on one scorecard before he knocked out Coceres in the 11th round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.