Edgar Berlanga obviously realizes his first-round knockout streak will come to an end, probably sooner than later.
While appreciative of the attention he has received for knocking out each of his 16 professional opponents in the opening round, the 23-year-old Berlanga looks forward to showing the different dimensions of his game once an opponent goes some rounds with him. If that finally happens Saturday night, Brooklyn’s Berlanga will be completely prepared to display what he can do against Demond Nicholson in a super middleweight match scheduled for eight rounds.
ESPN will televise Berlanga-Nicholson as its co-feature Saturday night from Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Florida (10 p.m. ET; 7 p.m. PT).
“For me, we just work hard in the gym,” Berlanga said during a conference call Tuesday. “Like I always say, everybody’s always like, ‘Oh, how he’s gonna do when he goes to the second [round]?’ And at the end of the day, listen man, I’ve been boxing for 16 years. You know, I got all the experience in the world. I’ve been all over the world. I’ve sparred and I’ve got the most experience I could as an amateur, and even just sparring and everything, you know. So, for me to go into the second round, I know everybody out there will make it seem bigger than what it is.
“But it’s nothing that, you know, for me it’s just another day in the office if I go into the second round. You know, I’m working hard extremely in the gym. You know, I push myself to the limit in the boxing gym. You know, in sparring I’m getting the rounds in. I’m sparring with three different guys, you know, sparring 10 rounds, 12 rounds, eight rounds straight with different guys, just to always put my conditioning to another level.”
The 28-year-old Nicholson (23-3-1, 20 KOs), of Laurel, Maryland, has been stopped inside the distance twice.
Jesse Hart (26-3, 21 KOs) beat him by seventh-round technical knockout in April 2018 in Philadelphia, Hart’s hometown. In November 2014, Lekan Byfield, who took a 5-5-1 record into their fight, upset Nicholson by sixth-round TKO in Chicago.
Nicholson has won five straight fights since Hart stopped him nearly three years ago.
Following Berlanga-Nicholson, ESPN will televise a 12-round main event between WBO featherweight champ Emanuel Navarrete (33-1, 28 KOs), of San Juan Zitlaltepec, Mexico, and Christopher Diaz (26-2, 16 KOs), of Barranquitas, Puerto Rico.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.