Sometimes, a hot start to a career can turn against a fighter. Edgar Berlanga's 16 first-round knockouts in the first round set high expectations. He will now face Roamer Alexis Angulo at 11 p.m. ET, ESPN) - A string of three victories has taken some of Berlanga's shine off.
Berlanga's knockout streak of 19-0, 16KO tied the all time record in boxing. It set the expectation that Berlanga would be a fierce finisher who would keep taking out all his opponents until he achieved the title.
Demond Nicholson broke that streak in a fight Berlanga won, but Nicholson was simply too strong to overcome. Next Marcelo Coceres, Steve Rolls took Berlanga to the finish and all of Berlanga's abilities seemed to be at risk.
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Berlanga's greatest problems are his poor footwork and inability to throw a strong jab. These two attributes are crucial for power punchers as they work their way up the ranks. Coceres was able to control the distance and cut off the ring, which allowed Rolls to push Berlanga to competitive fights. Coceres even put Berlanga on deck.
Berlanga isn't going to let Angulo (27-2 KO, 23 KO), be his light touch. Berlanga can punch well and has experience with high-level opponents. He was defeated by David Benavidez, Zurdo Ramirez and others, but these were world championship fights that Berlanga has yet to reach.
In this showcase event, the undercard is populated by rising Puerto Rican prospects. Henry Lebron, a super featherweight prospect, is back to face Luis Lebron -- there's no relationship. Henry Lebron is unbeaten at 15-0, with 10 wins by knockout. Luis Lebron is 18-3-1 with 11 knockouts. Super bantamweights Victor Santillan and Carlos Caraballo are also set to throw.
Let's have a look at all the cards with the most recent odds from Caesars Sportsbook, before we get to the prediction and pick for this main event.
Berlanga has been written off as a trendy thing. It's the bigger problems that are the problem. It's the absence of a jab. It's bad footwork. It's his inability to take off a ring or impose his will on others. His ceiling will be much lower than it was just a few years ago if Berlanga doesn't fix those problems.
Is Angulo really the man to exploit Berlanga? Maybe. Angulo is a +220 underdog in a card that was designed to showcase Puerto Ricans. Angulo could -- and likely will -- hurt Berlanga if he leaves himself open. The reality is that Angulo won't be able do much by moving forward and getting more hits than Berlanga. This should allow the A-side to win in a close bout. Pick: Edgar Berlanga via UD