Berlanga: ‘I’m excited to perform on Puerto Rican Day Weekend’

Super middleweight contender Edgar Berlanga takes center stage Saturday evening against two-time title challenge Alexis Angulo in the 10-round main event at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. Berlanga, born in Brooklyn and whose family hails from Puerto Rico, takes the top spot on the eve of New York’s Puerto Rican Day Parade. A popular ticket-seller with fearsome knockout power, Berlanga (19-0, 16 KOs) hopes a win over the crafty Colombian gets him closer to a world title shot.

The winner of this fight will be the first recipient of Madison Square Garden’s Miguel Cotto Trophy. Puerto Rican icon Cotto, who is being inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame this weekend, headlined five MSG fight nights on the eve of the Puerto Rican Day Parade. Four-division world champion Cotto, from Caguas, will be ringside Saturday night.

In the eight-round co-feature of this all-Puerto Rican card, Henry Lebron (15-0, 10 KOs) and Luis Lebron (18-3-1, 11 KOs) will battle for the vacant WBO Latino junior lightweight belt. This fight was elevated to the co-feature after junior middleweight sensation Xander Zayas dropped out of his bout with a viral infection.

Undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ (7:10 p.m. ET) and includes junior featherweight contender Carlos Caraballo (15-1, 14 KOs), junior welterweight prospect Omar Rosario (6-0, 2 KOs), comebacking featherweight Orlando Gonzalez (17-1, 10 KOs), and junior welterweight Josue “The Prodigy” Vargas (20-2, 9 KOs).

At Thursday’s press conference, this is what Berlanga had to say.

Edgar Berlanga

Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Fighting on Puerto Rican Day Parade Weekend:

“I’m excited. It’s Puerto Rican Day {Parade} Weekend. {The first one} since the pandemic, two years. I’ve been dreaming about this since I was a kid. I feel like I spoke it into existence. My hard work paid off and now we’re here.”

“To be honest, my team and Top Rank felt like he was the perfect opponent for Puerto Rican Day Weekend. He’s the type of fighter that comes forward. Hopefully, he does that this Saturday. He’s a tough, rugged fighter. He makes it look ugly, comes forward. He has power just like me. He’s powerful, so it’s going to be an amazing night. And I’m excited to perform on Puerto Rican Day Weekend.”

On three straight fights without a KO:

“It’s part of the process. I’m young, 25 years old. What can I say? I have 16 first-round knockouts, so I didn’t really gain the experience I needed. Definitely, these last three fights, I got the experience I needed. That’s the most important thing to make yourself a real professional athlete. But not only that, at that top level, you need those rounds. You need that feeling of what it’s like to get in the eighth, 10th round, and we got that done. This Saturday, Puerto Rican Day Weekend, I’m looking for a huge victory. I’m ready to go all out.”

“A lot of people don’t understand the last two years of not having a Puerto Rican Day Weekend and actually having a fight on that weekend… I’m just looking forward to performing, exploding like I always do and bringing back the old Edgar Berlanga.”

Who will represent your team at the NBA Draft Lottery?

Tuesday could be a special day for one of the 14 teams in the NBA Draft lottery. Some of the teams will be happy, while others will be disappointed.

Each team will have one representative at the draft lottery. Who will represent your team in New York City on Tuesday night?

Take a look at the list below: