Eddie Hearn sees some potential in signing Edgar Berlanga even if he has not had any concrete discussions with the fighter or his handler thus far.
News broke earlier this week that Berlanga, the popular super middleweight from New York City of Puerto Rican descent, had parted ways with his longtime promoter Top Rank. The divorce comes as Berlanga, once heralded as an exciting knockout machine, has struggled in his past several fights to look impressive. After stopping his first 16 opponents inside the distance, Berlanga, 25, has had to settle for decisions in his last four fights.
Berlanga and his chief handler, Keith Connolly, were reportedly at odds with executives at Top Rank on planning the fighter’s next steps. Connolly is best known as the manager of Daniel Jacobs and Sergey Derevyanchenko.
Once news of Berlanga’s separation broke, boxing fans speculated that Hearn, the head of Matchroom, might be interested in signing Berlanga.
In a recent interview, Hearn made it clear that while he has not had any discussions with Berlanga he can already see the potential appeal of a signing, especially from a matchmaking standpoint. Hearn thinks a fight between Berlanga and super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez could generate big bucks down the line. Alvarez, who is something of a free agent, has fought under Hearn’s promotional aegis for the past few fights and appears intent on doing so for the immediate future.
“My phone went mad last night with people saying have you signed Edgar Berlanga,” Hearn told Boxing Social. “No, I’ve not had one conversation with Edgar Berlanga or his team. Keith Connolly is his manager I know very well. Good fighter, exciting.
“Look, Canelo Alvarez versus Edgar Berlanga is a massive fight in Mexico and Puerto Rico. But I’ve not had any conversations with him.”
The last time Berlanga was in the ring was last summer, in June, when he notched a largely ho-hum unanimous decision over Columbia’s Alexis Angulo at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. During that fight, Berlanga tried to bite Angulo on the left shoulder. Berlanga was subsequently suspended by the New York Athletic Commission for six months and fined $10,000. Although he has proven himself to be a capable draw in New York, Berlanga has drawn criticism for his recent lackluster outings.
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