Edgar Berlanga will return to familiar territory for his next fight.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that Berlanga’s forthcoming clash versus Belfast’s Padraig McCrory will land at Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando, Florida. The bout between unbeaten super middleweights will headline a February 24 DAZN show, as previously reported by Boxing Scene senior writer Keith Idec.
Berlanga (21-0, 16KOs) previously fought in the greater Orlando Area in an April 20201 eight-round, unanimous decision win over Demond Nicholson. The Brooklyn-based Nuyorican went the distance for the first time in his career that night, but scored four knockdowns to the delight of the partisan crowd at Silver Spurs Arena in the heavily Boricua-populated region of Kissimmee, Florida.
A sixteen-fight knockout streak preceded that bout, which became the first of five straight fights where Berlanga has been forced to go to the scorecards. The 26-year-old contender went all twelve-rounds in a unanimous decision over Ireland’s Jason Quigley, whom Berlanga dropped four times but was unable to resume his knockout ways.
McCrory was considered as the opponent for that evening but an executive decision by the DAZN staff called for a more familiar name. The 35-year-old fringe contender now gets his shot and will also make his U.S. debut.
It marks a considerable step up in class for McCrory, who went the ten-round distance in each of his two wins in 2023. His most recent victory came in a unanimous decision over Steed Woodall on August 4 in his Belfast hometown, where McCrory has fought in each of his last three starts and all but two pro career fights.
Berlanga has been teased to be on course for a mid-year showdown versus fellow unbeaten contender Jaime Munguia (42-0, 33KOs). DAZN brass wanted that fight for 2022, to the point where both parties were instructed to make a deal and not come with lesser fights if they wanted to fight again this year.
Both are afforded separate bouts though versus approved opposition, with hopes that the two will subsequently reach a deal for a mid-summer clash. Tijuana’s Munguia—a former WBO junior middleweight titlist—once again steps up in class as he faces former two-time title challenger John Ryder atop a January 27 DAZN show from Footprint Center, home to the NBA’s Phoenix Suns.
Matchroom’s UK schedule gets underway with a rematch at the Vertu Motors Arena in Newcastle on Saturday February 10 as Welterweight rivals Conah Walker and Cyrus Pattinson do battle again following their thrilling clash at the Utilita Arena Birmingham back in August.
Wolverhampton’s Walker (12-2-1, 4 KOs) sensationally handed former Team GB standout Pattinson (6-1, 4 KOs) the first loss of his professional career, flooring the Alnwich man three times on route to securing the biggest win of his career via an eighth-round stoppage.
All-action Pattinson gets an immediate shot at redemption, this time in front of his home crowd, as he looks to get his promising career back on track by putting his first loss behind him and continuing his climb towards title action in the 147lbs division.
Also featuring on the card is a fourth pro outing for exciting 21 year old Cameron Vuong (3-0 2 KOs) who takes on the experienced Ishmael Ellis (14-7) over eight rounds at Lightweight.
The following Friday (February 16) Mexico plays host to another must-watch rematch as Adrien Curiel and Sivenathi Nontshinga run it back for the IBF Light-Flyweight World Title following their dramatic first meeting at the Casino de Monte-Carlo last month.
Mexico’s Curiel (24-4-1, 5 KOs) ripped up the script by scoring a shocking one-punch knockout of South Africa’s defending champion Nontshiunga (12-1, 9 KOs) in the second round of their highly anticipated showdown in Monaco.
The 24-year-old makes the first defence of his World Title on home soil, determined to prove that his stunning knockout of the year contender wasn’t just a one off. Having tasted defeat for the first time in his career, Nontshinga is aiming to recapture his old belt to keep his dreams of unifying the division alive.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox