Promoter Eddie Hearn is hopeful that Edgar Berlanga has done enough to bag a fight with Canelo Alvarez after stopping Padraig McCrory at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida. 

Berlanga had been criticized for going the distance in his last five fights on the back of 16 straight first round knockouts, but a huge right hand unlocked McCrory’s defenses and put the Irishman down and out in round six.

“I thought it was a great performance, exactly what he needed,” Hearn told Boxing Social. 

“Poddy is a tall, strong 168-pounder who lets his hands fly. The first two rounds were slow, and then Edgar got into it. Podraig took some big shots in the third and fourth and then it was a brutal stoppage, great knockout, big statement, [Berlanga is now the] WBA No. 1, mandatory challenger for the world title, so great night for Edgar Berlanga.”

Berlanga had been promising a statement win, possibly putting himself under a lot of pressure to do it, but it paid off and has injected some momentum back into his career. 

“Anything but an impressive stoppage was not good enough tonight,” admitted Hearn. “Respect to Poddy, but if we’re talking about [fighting Jaime] Munguia [next], we’re talking about Canelo, you’ve got to be destroying people like Podraig McCrory, and he did that, and he did it in style. And I think he gained a few believers tonight.”

Hearn believes Berlanga’s No. 1 spot with the WBA now makes a Canelo fight inevitable, at some point, even it if it is not in the 26-year-old’s immediate future.

Canelo has said he will fight next on May 4 in Las Vegas, but has not announced an opponent.  

“Still a long way to go,” Hearn said, of Berlanga’s future. “But now we’ve got that No. 1 position with the WBA, he’s going to get his shot. And whether that’s in May or September or in May of 2025, it’s going to come.

“Canelo Alvarez is a special talent. When you’re talking about mixing it up at super middleweight… Jaime Munguia, absolutely. [David] Benavidez, great fighter, yes I believe he can. 

“[Caleb] Plant, [Jermall] Charlo, absolutely. 

“Canelo? It’s the ultimate challenge, and everyone wants the ultimate challenge. It’s Puerto Rico against Mexico, it’s the mandatory challenger, and I promise you this, when Edgar gets his shot against Canelo, he will fight fire with fire. He won’t try to survive, he won’t take a payday, he won’t run around the ring, he will come to fight Canelo Alvarez.

“If he gets knocked out, respect. But he will bring the fans a firefight and I think that’s what Canelo wants now at this stage in his career. He doesn’t want to fight a guy that’s moving around, trying to survive. 

“Whether it’s next or September, he will get his shot.”