Sunday Convo: Edgar Berlanga is no longer 'The Monster'

Last night at the Hulu Theater inside the Madison Square Garden was supposed to be the grand Matchroom Boxing debut of super middleweight contender Edgar ‘The Chosen One’ Berlanga (21-0, 16 KOs). His opponent Jason Quigley (20-3, 14 KOs) wasn’t given a shot to win by fans and media but kept telling everyone who would listen that he would give Berlanga one of his stiffest tests. The result was a unanimous decision victory for Berlanga, but again, we didn’t see ‘The Monster’ come out at all.

Quigley came in there with the right game plan from his trainer Andy Lee. That strategy was to avoid staying in close too long and Berlanga’s big right hand. The game plan worked for most of the fight, and Berlanga chased Quigley around the ring while also eating counter shots. Although Berlanga did score four knockdowns in the fight, it never seemed like he was in control or that he even set it up those knockdowns. Berlanga appeared gassed in the later rounds and never had a Plan B.

This has been the story with Berlanga in the last few fights, where he seems lost in the ring when he doesn’t get the big knockout. Although he was brought up as this monster with sixteen consecutive first-round knockouts, when matched with more seasoned opponents, he struggled, and last night was no different. You can see it on his face after the fight that he might have blown the opportunity to become a household name. He gave himself a “C” when asked to grade his performance, but honestly, he may have given himself a generous assessment.

There was pressure on Berlanga coming into fight week, as the event was in NYC and he needed to deliver on his performance. Some air may have come out of his balloon when news of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez signing with Premier Boxing Champions hit social media earlier in the week. It was the reason Berlanga signed with Matchroom, and at that moment, it quickly became something unrealistic in the future. That changed the whole mood for fight week and may have caused Berlanga to lose focus on fight night. Berlanga still has options at super middleweight with Matchroom and DAZN, but they are about a tier or two lower than facing the Mexican Icon in Alvarez.


Throughout the night, the Twitter wars occurred between Oscar De La Hoya and Eddie Hearn. In the past, they have made numerous subliminal comments and specific ones mentioning each other’s names. De La Hoya quickly deflected Hearn’s remarks about a possible Jaime Munguia fight with Berlanga, and Hearn said he would bring it up to the DAZN executives. Although Hearn mentioned a fight with Munguia, he also added John Ryder and Billy Joe Saunders to the list of possible opponents. In all reality, we will probably see Berlanga against Ryder or Saunders next as he continues to search for the big win that will put him at the top of the division.

Although the Munguia fight is almost guaranteed to deliver fireworks, it has to be set up correctly, and now isn’t the time to do that. Whichever way Berlanga decides to go, he should give NYC a rest and maybe try fighting across the pond, as his popularity keeps taking a hit. Just as the curtain was pulled to reveal who the real wizard was in The Wizard of Oz, Berlanga isn’t “The Monster” we all thought he was coming up, and now he has to find a new identity in and out of the ring as he continues to develop as a fighter.