A Take a look at Edgar Berlanga
I used to be in elementary college when Steven Spielberg supplied the world his adaptation of Michael Crichton’s novel, Jurassic Park. I desperately wished to see the movie throughout the opening weekend as a result of I didn’t wish to be the one child within the neighborhood who hadn’t seen it. This was 1993 and the commercials we’d been seeing on tv left us in awe and anticipation. Sadly, my older cousin was getting married in Miami that weekend, so I didn’t have an opportunity to see the movie.
As an alternative of taking a look at the very best depiction of life-like dinosaurs so far, I used to be watching my drunk Uncle Theo do the electrical slide to Shalamar’s A Evening to Keep in mind. Upon coming again house from Miami, all I bear in mind my pals telling me in regards to the movie was “You need to have seen it!” The thrill of their voices and the appears to be like on their faces confirmed what I already suspected; I had missed out on one thing epic.
Such is the thrill within the voices of grown males of their 30’s and 40’s after they point out boxing’s subsequent nice sensation. My older cousin Marcus has been refereeing novice bouts in Dallas for so long as I can bear in mind. In my biased opinion, solely Bert Sugar was extra educated in regards to the candy science than “O.G. Marcus.” I’ll always remember the day when the person whose opinion on the game I worth probably the most instructed me in regards to the subsequent nice fighter who was going to take over boxing.
It was December fifteenth of final yr; I’d referred to as to want him a cheerful birthday. “You need to have seen this child,” he instructed me. I hadn’t heard that form of pleasure in his voice in a really very long time. “What’s his title,” I requested. “Edgar Berlanga,” he exclaimed. “Keep in mind the title. Edgar Berlanga!”
After lacking Edgar Berlanga’s knockout of Cesar Nunez final December, I vowed to maintain observe of him and ensure to look at his subsequent combat. Sadly, I needed to wait till July of this yr to get my likelihood to see him in motion. Fortunately, he didn’t disappoint. With a first-round knockout of Eric Moon on the MGM Grand, Berlanga prolonged his first-round knockout streak to 14 in a row.
It was an astonishing show of energy. Edgar Berlanga’s confidence was overwhelming; it was clear to me proper then and there I used to be witnessing a star within the making. 2020 has been a making an attempt yr for boxing however the fighters, promoters, followers, and everybody else concerned have been resilient in conserving the game alive. Nevertheless, all through all of the headlines, one 23-year-old’s emergence as a drive to be reckoned with will get my vote for probably the most compelling story. That’s the reason Edgar Berlanga is my selection for the fighter of the yr in 2020.
Edgar Berlanga was very lively this yr
In 1986, Mike Tyson had 13 skilled fights. That isn’t a typo. Once I first heard that determine, I actually didn’t imagine it. I seemed it up for myself to truth examine and the quantity is definitely appropriate. That being mentioned, it’s exhausting to think about a promotional outfit not going through a lawsuit after placing their fighter via such a brutal schedule within the fashionable period. Currently, the largest names within the sport have been preventing yearly, twice if we’re fortunate. Nevertheless, within the midst of a yr that noticed unprecedented uncertainty, Edgar Berlanga was in a position to partake in three fights.
Having fought as soon as in July, as soon as in October and once more in December, Bob Arum displayed his brilliance in mapping out his protege’s schedule. In 2020, combat followers have been handled to performances by superstars equivalent to Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury and Canelo Alvarez to call a couple of. Nevertheless, every of these fighters solely climbed into the ring one time throughout this calendar yr. Berlanga is nowhere close to their stage of success; the excellent news for combat followers is he’s bold and hungry to succeed in their stature.
Uncommon Punching Energy
All through the historical past of boxing, there have been fighters gifted with that uncommon high quality that some seek advice from as “heavy palms.” It’s an innate expertise to land exhausting punches that may finish the combat with one direct blow. Former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has the reward. Within the 1980’s Panamanian Roberto Duran was so deadly contained in the ring that it was mentioned he had “palms of stone.” Edgar Berlanga is proving to combat followers that he is part of this lineage of particular fighters.
At 6’1” he’s tall for the tremendous middleweight division. That makes him a naturally greater man than the vast majority of his opponents and when he lands, they fall. As a lot as fashionable society would criticize the Romans for the spectacle and blood baths on show on the Coliseum, our technology isn’t any totally different. Fight sports activities are certainly a skilful endeavor however to fake they aren’t violent can be naive. Berlanga is an enhancing fighter, however his leisure worth lies in how highly effective his punches are.
Not Afraid of the Limelight
Not often do you see 23-year-old’s casually strategy legends after a combat to carry a dialog? After his December twelfth knockout of Ulises Sierra, Edgar Berlanga strolled over to the announcer’s sales space and greeted Andre Ward and Tim Bradley, two former world champions in their very own proper. As a lot as boxing is about efficiency, it’s additionally about persona. Canelo Alvarez and Anthony Joshua every had followers in attendance throughout their most up-to-date bouts. Quickly, sold-out arenas received’t be a factor of the previous, they are going to reemerge as a deciding consider making huge fights occur. Berlanga speaks with confidence throughout interviews and he has a persona that combat followers are already embracing. Boxing has been blessed to have a plethora of stars within the fashionable period; with every new efficiency, Berlanga is proving he’s subsequent.
A Compelling Story-Line
The child from Brooklyn, who grew up idolizing Felix Trinidad has received sixteen fights in a row by the first-round knockout. Announcers and promoters don’t must scramble to discover a story-line to advertise this younger man. The one query they should ask over the airwaves is “Will the streak proceed?” As a lot as I really like an amazing combat that goes the space, I discovered myself sitting on the sting of my sofa watching the primary spherical rely down throughout Berlanga’s final efficiency.
I too was caught up within the mystique of the elusive first-round knockout. Whether or not he can stretch the streak to seventeen throughout his subsequent combat isn’t vital. The truth that his streak has generated a lot pleasure has been nice for boxing.
Total, 2020 turned out to be a yr full of very entertaining fights. The twelve-round warfare between Teofimo Lopez and Vasyl Lomachenko was probably the most entertaining combat of the yr. Nevertheless, the truth that his fights led to early stoppages shouldn’t be held towards Edgar Berlanga. Ultimately, one in all his opponents goes to outlive the primary spherical.
Ultimately, he’s going to get hit sq. on the chin and we’re going to see if he can get well after he’s been damage. All issues thought of, “The Chosen One” had probably the most spectacular resume of bouts out of anybody concerned within the candy science in 2020. The long run appears to be like vivid for the Puerto Rican fighter out of Brooklyn. Take a bow, Mr Edgar Berlanga. You’re the fighter of the yr.