LAS VEGAS – Edgar Berlanga didn’t just suffer a bruised ego Saturday night.
The super middleweight prospect left the ring at T-Mobile Arena with an injury to his left arm that could require surgery. Severe bruising above Berlanga’s left elbow was evident after his tougher-than-anticipated, 10-round, unanimous-decision victory over Marcelo Coceres on the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder undercard.
The unbeaten Brooklyn native will undergo an MRI when he returns to New York to learn if he has a torn left biceps, as members of his team fear. Even if Berlanga’s left biceps isn’t torn, Keith Connolly, Berlanga’s manager, informed BoxingScene.com that it is unlikely that he’ll be able to return to the ring December 11 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Berlanga tentatively was scheduled to face an undetermined opponent on the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Richard Commey undercard that night. His return to the ring figures to be delayed, though, as the 24-year-old Berlanga will need much more time for his left arm to heal.
Whenever Berlanga is healthy enough to return to the gym, he’ll have to make defensive improvements if he is to succeed against more imposing opponents than Coceres.
Though a huge underdog, the Argentinean veteran provided some troublesome moments for Berlanga. He hit Berlanga with several clean, eye-catching punches prior to dropping Berlanga with a counter right hand in the ninth round.
Berlanga looked more angry about getting knocked down for the first time in his career than he was hurt.
Once Berlanga got up, he regained control of their fight and went on to win comfortably on all three scorecards. All three judges – Eric Cheek, Patricia Morse Jarman and Ricardo Ocasio – scored seven of the 10 rounds for Berlanga, 96-93.
Berlanga (18-0, 16 KOs) went the distance in a second straight fight after knocking out each of his first 16 pro opponents in the first round.
Before Saturday night, Coceres (30-3-1, 16 KOs) was most known for giving former WBO super middleweight champ Billy Joe Saunders (30-1, 14 KOs) a tougher test than expected. Coceres led Saunders on one scorecard when Saunders stopped him in the 11th round of their November 2019 bout at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.