Rising star Edgar Berlanga scored another win and remained undefeated but took more derogatory comments in the aftermath.
Berlanga was told he needed rounds for a world title shot after taking heat for not getting enough rounds when pummeling every opponent in the first round.
Now, he gets those rounds in three decision victories, and some media and fans start calling for KOs again.
It seems Berlanga is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.
Nonetheless, Berlanga sold out the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden to 5,158 fans. In his main event debut, he prevailed via a ten-round unanimous decision (96-94 and 97-93 2x) over Steve Rolls.
It wasn’t the sterling knockout Berlanga sought, but it was an important step forward for the Brooklyn native.
Berlanga (19-0, 16 KOs) tore his biceps last October against Marcelo Esteban Coceres and spent the last 12 weeks training in Las Vegas.
The biceps injury did not flare up as Berlanga stalked the Canadian veteran. Rolls had pockets of success, especially with right hands to Berlanga’s midsection. Berlanga closed the fight strong, winning the final two rounds on all three judges’ scorecards.
He now moves forward to a potential June 11 date.
Edgar Berlanga said, “You could tell that he was fighting scared. Whenever I reached in or threw something, he’s pulling back, running the whole fight.
“I was looking for a big shot. My corner was telling me to use a jab. My elbow was bothering me a little bit. But I’m just happy we got the victory and moving forward.
“My elbow started hurting me in the second round, but no excuses. We got the biceps torn in the last fight, returned in four months, and got to it.”
Also on the bill at super-lightweight, Armani Almestica (5-0, 5 KOs) won a TKO 3 over Luis Valentin Portalatin (3-4, 1 KO), 1:57.
Almestica brought a vocal contingent to the Hulu Theater and battered late replacement Portalatin until referee Eric Dali stopped the fight.
In the same division, Kelvin Davis (4-0, 3 KOs) scored a TKO 1 over Phillip Carmouche (2-3), 1:17.
The eldest of the Fighting Davis Brothers from Norfolk, Virginia, Kelvin notched the first first-round knockout of his burgeoning career.
Carmouche offered little resistance, and Davis pounced with a pair of knockdowns.
The finishing blow came courtesy of a right hook as Carmouche was slumped against the ropes.
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