Hulu Theater; Madison Square Garden, NYC:
Styles make fights, that’s just the way it is. That’s why when something looks good on paper it sometimes flops in real life. But was that the case for Edgar Berlanga against Steve Rolls? Not really. The 37-year old Rolls came into the night as a 10-1 underdog, and of all the fights on this night; this wasn’t the one everyone was clamoring for. Outside of the Puerto Rican packed crowd. So can a lack luster win do anything for Berlanga?
He’s admitted the fact is he fell in love with his power, after being a ‘boxer” as an amateur. And after running 16-straight knockouts, who could blame him. Tin cans or not; ending someone’s night is in the words of Animal from the Legion of Doom “whattah rush”. Especially that many in a row. But now he’s on a new streak.
Defending his WBO-NABO Super Middleweight title for the first-time, he followed Rolls around the ring for 10-rounds. Thus picking up a 3rd consecutive unanimous decision (97-93 2x, 96-94).
It’s not like he cut off the ring, made Rolls scramble to escape punishment. He played the game follow the leader, and landed occasionally. And just slightly more than Rolls. If he wasn’t swinging from his heels as much as he did, it would have looked more aesthetically pleasing.
What Happens After A Lack Luster Win
In fairness, coming off of surgery, this could have just been a take any ring rust off fight against a usual blue collar fighter. One that actually exposed some more holes in Berlanga. So we can and should give him a pass for this. But the next time he steps into the squared circle, questions must be answered. Or they will begin to truly haunt him.
He needs to spend the opening 2-3 rounds just digging the body from every angle. Not a single punch above the chest. As that breaks down his opponent, whoever it may be; he can then tee off upstairs. And Berlanga should come out for every round sprinting across the ring. Not even giving the next guy a chance to breath. And who will be that next guy? That’s anyone’s guess, although he probably won’t be a ranked fighter. And it probably shouldn’t be a southpaw either. Lets handle one problem at a time.
There was a slight buzz inside the HULU Theater that with all of Top Ranks young prospects leaving unscathed, perhaps they could all get on the June 18th card. There wouldn’t be any added pressure for Berlanga being the Robin to Joe Smith and Artur Beterbiev’s Batman. Perhaps someone like a Shane Mosley Jr, or a Jeison Rosario would come up a division to test the 24-year old. Rosario can launch hooks to the body, and comes forward throwing at every angle when he smells blood.
There’s the old adage “Keep It Simple Stupid”. It’s time he goes back to the beginning. And have a lot less trainers in his ears.