Berlanga: McCrory Is My Toughest Test So Far

Edgar Berlanga hopes that Padraig McCrory backs up his words and comes to fight when the pair clash at Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida on Saturday night (February 24).  

Berlanga (21-0 16 KOs) faces the Belfast man after beating Irishman Jason Quigley in June at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. The Puerto Rican star has vowed to pick up where he left off in the final round where he dropped Quigley for the third and fourth time on the night, as ‘The Chosen One’ looks to cement his spot as a future ruler of the Super-Middleweihgt division.  

The 26 year old expects McCrory (18-0 9 KOs) to provide the stiffest test of those credentials that he’s faced to date, and after the Belfast man predicted a shoot-out in Orlando, Berlanga hopes that is what McCrory brings in order to provide fans with an explosive night.  

“He’s my hardest test so far for sure,” said Berlanga. “He’s undefeated, so he’s coming with a different mentality. He’s going to do anything to protect that ‘0’. I never overlook any opponent, I know he’s coming to fight, he has something to prove, and that’s what I like. Every fight we’re stepping up and he is highly ranked, he’s unbeaten, he’s got the same number of fights as me and I think it’s going to be a good test.   

“Once he gets touched, I think he’s going to get on his bike. I don’t think he’s going to stay there and want to exchange with me. But we are prepping for anything and everything. So, if he tries to run and move around, box, try to lure me in and throw a sneaky shot, we see that coming. And if he wants to stay there and trade, well, they call him ‘The Hammer’ so he’s supposed to be displaying that, so we’ll see.  

“My hands will do the talking on Saturday when I am pounding on his face, I hope he’s ready because I am coming with fireworks. When he sees me at the press conference and he looks into my eyes, he’s going to know what’s up. I’m about that action, I pray he comes healthy so we can put an amazing night on for the fans. I’m coming for blood. There’s going to be a lot of heat on him, and he better be prepared, because I’m looking to hurt him and knock him the fuck out.  

“It was a good fight with Jason. What you have to understand is what McCrory said that it’s a life-changing moment for him. So, these guys are never going to come like they do for any other fight, and it’s like that with Jason. He was in tremendous shape, I dropped him four times and he got crushed in that 12th round but he still got up, he had no quit in him. But these fighters come with a different mentality when they face me, like they do when they face the Canelo’s or the Benavidez’s, that’s the mindset that they have and you hear it in what McCrory is saying, this is a life-changing chance for him. Every fighter is going to feel like that against me.  

“I love the Irish fans. My manager is Irish. But McCrory has to go, it’s over for him. They will call me the Irish Assassin. The crowd in New York was amazing though, the Irish flags at the Garden, and they are a fighting country just like Puerto Rico, they have that fighting spirit in them.”  

Berlanga and McCrory clash on a big night of action in Orlando, where the co-feature pits Cuban Lightweight sensation Andy Cruz (2-0 1 KO) against Mexican Brayan Zamarippa (14-2 5 KOs) for the IBF International and WBA Continental Latin-American titles.  

Shakhram Giyasov (14-0 9 KOs) and Pablo Cesar Cano (35-8-1 25 KOs) battle it out in an eliminator for the WBA World Welterweight title, while the main card on DAZN sees another World title eliminator as Antonio Vargas (17-1 9 KOs) and Jonathan Rodriguez (17-1-1 7 KOs) aim to take a step closer to the WBA World Bantamweight crown.  

Yankiel Rivera (4-0 2 KOs) closes the Before The Bell section of the card with his first title fight as he takes on Andy Dominguez (10-0 5 KOs) for the WBA and WBC Continental Americas Flyweight titles, with Cuban Heavyweight Herich Ruiz (4-0 3 KOs) meets Mitch Williams (16-10-3 11 KOs) over eight rounds and Aaron Aponte (8-1-1 2 KOs) takes on Joseph Fernandez (17-5-3 6 KOs) over eight rounds Super-Lightweight.