Edgar Berlanga continued his incredible first-round knockout streak Saturday night.
Lanell Bellows came to fight, but the hard-hitting Berlanga buzzed him with a left hook, further hurt him with a right hand and wasted little time finishing off the veteran super middleweight with punishing power punches. Referee Robert Hoyle stopped their scheduled eight-rounder just one minute and 19 seconds into it, with a staggered Bellows still on his feet at MGM Grand Conference Center.
Brooklyn’s Berlanga, 23, improved to 15-0 and produced his 15th first-round knockout. Berlanga jumped on the ropes and repeatedly yelled, “I’m a f--king monster!” after tearing through Bellows.
As much as Berlanga needs rounds, he was pleased to score such a quick victory on ESPN’s Vasiliy Lomachenko-Teofimo Lopez undercard.
“Actually, for the first time in my career, I really wanted to take him out,” Berlanga said. “I was very aggressive and that’s why I had to do push-ups [as punishment], because I didn’t follow the game plan I was supposed to. You know, I was supposed to throw a certain combination. He’s never been stopped, so I just wanted to make a point and prove a point to the people out there, that I’m dangerous, you know?”
Las Vegas’ Bellows (20-6-3, 13 KOs, 1 NC) officially lost by knockout for the first time. Bellows, 34, previously lost by knockout once, but the result of his third-round knockout defeat to Mike Snider in June 2017 was changed to a no-contest by the NSAC.
Despite that he extended his first-round knockout streak, Berlanga wasn’t satisfied overall with his performance.
“I felt [overanxious],” Berlanga said. “I know when I look back at the tape of the fight, I’m not gonna like it at all. So, I don’t even wanna watch the video. [Trainer Andre Rozier] is gonna make me watch it because I made mistakes, a lot of mistakes, you know? I wasn’t poised, like I usually am.”
Regardless, Berlanga was glad that Hoyle didn’t allow Bellows to take unnecessary punishment.
“It was a good call,” Berlanga said. “The first jab I threw, I split his eye open. And I already knew he wasn’t gonna be in there [long]. So, I had to take him out. His eyes, everything, he looked nervous, he looked scared. And the first punch I landed, I wobbled him. The ref made a beautiful call. You know, his eyes was all over the place. I would’ve hurt him. I would’ve sent him to the hospital.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.