Berlanga on fans: ‘I know they wanted a first-round knockout’

Edgar Berlanga finally got out of the first round on Saturday night, and in fact, he went the distance on Saturday night.

The Puerto Rico star dropped Demond Nicholson(23-4, 20 KOs) four times and went on to win by unanimous decision at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Florida. Berlanga(17-0, 16 KOs), who had 16 consecutive first-round knockouts entering the night, was in complete control in this fight.

He knocked down Nicholson with a left hook in the second round, a right hand in the third round, a left hook in the fifth round, and a right hand just before the bell sounded to end the eighth.

“It’s kind of fu—- up I had to go to the judges with all the people here,” Berlanga said after the fight. “I know they wanted a first-round knockout, but I enjoyed getting the experience. 

“It was an awesome experience for me. I caught him with an amazing shot at 10 seconds of the last round. I wanted to get him out! But I didn’t, but I got the experience, especially in front of my Puerto Rican people. It was good.”

The 16-fight first-round knockout streak was remarkable, but if he wants to become a champion, Berlanga needs rounds, and he got that against a veteran in Nicholson on Saturday night. He does need to work on his stamina. It appeared that in the later rounds, he tired out, but, to his credit, Berlanga did finish strong. 

What’s next for the 23-year-old Berlanga? There was some talk on the ESPN telecast about a possible fight with Jesse Hart, another step-up fight for him, and a fight that will test Berlanga. He has the potential to be a big star, and if he can continue to get better and keep winning, he can be the next big thing in boxing, and right now, the Brooklyn native might be ready to headline a card at Madison Square Garden.

Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images)

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