Edgar Berlanga remains perfect with second consecutive decision win
In his most recent session in the office, hard-hitting super middleweight Edgar “The Chosen One” Berlanga (17-0, 16 KOs) narrowly kept his undefeated record intact. By the skin of his teeth, he toppled the durable and tough Marcelo Esteban “El Terrible” Coceres 30-2-1(16 KOs) by way of unanimous decision win. Fighting on the undercard of Fury-Wilder III, this was a contest with some underrated intrigue and sizzle.
Berlanga has always been a fighter who draws attention both in and out of the ring. The 24-year-old is known for the TNT in his fists when he fights and for being quite the braggart when he talks. Ballyhooed by his promoter, Top Rank, as the sport’s next KO artist, he has largely lived up to the billing.
Additional attention often is accompanied by added scrutiny and it is no different for the Chosen One. While Berlanga’s wins have often come sensationally, they’ve come against soggy, pedestrian and mediocre fighters that have failed to provide a decent test. Then, in his last bout, his widely touted knockout streak ended when Berlanga went the distance with Demond Nicholson in April of 2021. Now ranked #6 (WBA) and #8 (WBO), fans and experts alike are starting to chirp that it’s time for the talkative super middleweight to step up his level of competition.
Marcelo Coceres wound up being just that elevation! For those unfamiliar with the 30-year-old, in November of 2019, he gave then WBO world super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders a very tough fight before getting stopped in the eleventh round. Going in, he obviously thought his experience and toughness was enough to stop the Berlanga train. Sadly for him and his team, it was not.
SLOW AND STEADY
Perhaps having his knockout streak snuffed out was a benefit to Berlanga, who came out pursuing in calm and relaxed fashion. Outside of his composed demeanor, there was not a great deal of action to report for the first few rounds. Each of the two competitors probed with their jabs and sought to find range. The Chosen One would land a number of solid body shots but nothing that took the wind out of Coceres.
While no one, definitive shot landed, Berlanga was able to somewhat put Coceres on his bike in the third. It was nothing that would anger the audience, but pronounced enough to notice. In the fourth, the Argentinian was briefly wobbled by a thudding left hook. During the fifth period, Coceres settled down a bit and caused Berlanga to miss several shots and even clipped him with an impressive left hook. Then, mid-way through the sixth, the Chosen One had his mouth stuffed with a series of right and left hooks center-ring that appeared to buzz the upstart. Berlanga was unable to match the work before the clang of the bell.
LAST MINUTE DRAMA
To his credit, Berlanga was able whack Coceres in the head with a thumping straight right that seemingly had an adverse effect. The Argentinian was able to continue without mishap but the Chosen One dominated the rest of the round. For the first time, over the course of the first half of the eighth, Coceres was openly on his bike. The fight would drastically shift at the end of the ninth, however. With his right eye swollen nearly completely shut, Coceres landed a counter right hook that dropped Berlanga on his back.
The Brooklyn native made it to his feet without much issue, but he ended the period getting seriously hammered by the Argentinian. Unfortunately, Marcelo Coceres opted to mainly circle the ring for the majority of the final round. So, when the scorecards were read, it was no shocker to hear that Edgar Berlanga was awarded a unanimous decision win. All three judges scored the bout 96-93 for the Chosen One.
By: Bakari Simpson