Berlanga: ‘You build the brand, you build the image, and that’s how you make more money’

Edgar Berlanga is making a name for himself inside and outside the ring. The 23-year-old Berlanga is 16-0 with 16 first-round knockouts, and that streak will be put to the test against Demond Nicholson(23-3, 20 KOs) in an eight-round showdown on Saturday night at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Florida.

Berlanga has a great relationship with rapper Fat Joe and is expected to be walked to ring by rapper Lil Wayne on Saturday night. However, despite the notoriety, boxing is still the number one priority for Berlanga.

“With winning, all of that comes. The fame, the money,” Berlanga said this week. “When you’re winning, and if you’re doing what I’m doing, all of that is going to come. So I don’t really pay mind to that. It’s cool to have that, to build a brand. You build the brand, you build the image, and that’s how you make more money. But at the end of the day, boxing is my number one priority. And you have to win at the end of the day.”

Despite the first-round knockout streak, Berlanga is preparing to go the full eight rounds against Nicholson.

“We push in training camp to go those rounds in sparring,” he said. “I make sure I’m ready to go 12 rounds, whether {the fight} is an eight-rounder or 10-rounder. And that’s the mindset you gotta have because there are killers out there. You have to train for that. When you’re on top and a target, everyone wants to take your head off, so you have to be 100 percent prepared. We’re in camp, and I push myself to the limit each and every time.”

The 28-year-old Nicholson is on a five-fight win streak. His last loss was in 2018 when he was stopped by Jesse Hart. However, according to Nicholson, he’s a different fighter in 2021. 

“I’m not mentally in the same place I was three years ago, financially and everything,” Nicholson said, “I was facing some hard demons that I’ve pushed away and pushed to the side, overcame, and now it’s time to work. It’s my time to shine.

“It’s going to be a boxing lesson. That’s all I can tell you.”

It should be interesting to see if Berlanga can keep the streak going. It will be a tall order against Nicholson. However, For Berlanga, it’s probably in his best interest to end the streak and get some rounds in.

In the main event on Saturday night, two-weight Mexican world champion Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete will make the first defense of his WBO featherweight world title against Puerto Rican challenger Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz.

Photo Credit: Mikey Williams (Top Rank via Getty Images)