Madison Square Garden in New York hosts a night of boxing this Saturday night, and hot prospect Edgar Berlanga is in action in the headline contest, as he defends his WBO NABO super middleweight title against Canada’s Steve Rolls over a scheduled ten rounds.
Berlanga vs Rolls will be televised on Sky Sports in the UK, while ESPN+ carry the USA rights on a night promoted by Bob Arum and Top Rank.
Berlanga (18-0, 16 KOs) has seen the tests get tougher after a spell as a devastating puncher, with his first 16 victories all coming inside the first round of action.
That streak was ended in April last year when Desmond Nicholson took the New Yorker the eight round distance, although he was thrashed on the cards.
In his last fight on the undercard of Tyson Fury‘s thrilling trilogy win over Deontay Wilder, the 24-year-old was extended even further, and was given a stern examination by Martin Esteban Coceres, where he was dropped in the ninth before taking a decision win to gain the belt that he defends this weekend.
‘The Chosen One’ was sidelined following surgery after the fight on his left biceps.
Rolls (21-1, 12 KOs) should represent a test for Berlanga, and the 37-year-old is probably best known for his sole professional loss, a June 2019 fourth round knockout reverse to Gennady Golovkin.
The Toronto man has won two straight since at a lower level, his last a ninth round knockout of Christopher Brooker in December 2021.
Prediction: Rolls seems a perfect opponent for Berlanga to get back to looking explosive against, having been pushed further than ever before in his last fight.
Rolls will certainly be looking to get back up the rankings, but Berlanga should be able to make the Canadian taste his power early, and I expect a stoppage win somewhere between rounds four to six.
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John Bauza (16-0, 7 KOs) takes on an eight round test at super lightweight, clashing with Tony Luis (29-4, 10 KOs), who hasn’t boxed since August 2020 where he was beaten over ten by Arnold Barboza Jr.
Prediction: Bauza should be able to take a points win in this one.
Xander Zayas (12-0, 9 KOs) steps up to eight rounds for the first time, and the Puerto Rican super welterweight may need all available rounds to see off Quincy LaVallais (12-2-1, 7 KOs).
At super featherweight, Henry Lebron (14-0, 9 KOs) takes on the durable Jose Ruiz (23-5-3, 16 KOs) and it should be a comfortable enough points win for the unbeaten fighter.
Bruce Carrington (2-0, 1 KO) headlines the six rounders, and the Brooklynite can stop Yeuri Andujar (5-4-1, 3 KOs) in their super featherweight meeting.
At lightweight, Armani Almestica (4-0, 4 KOs) can extend his knockout streak by taking care of Eliseo Villalobos (2-2, 1 KO) inside schedule.
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Welterweight prospect, Jahi Tucker (6-0, 4 KOs) makes another appearance, and he can inflict the first stoppage defeat on the ledger of Tracy McGruder (6-1, 4 KOs).
The sole four rounder comes at super lightweight, where Kelvin Davis (3-0, 2 KOs) should remain unbeaten with a stoppage win against Phillip Carmouche (2-2).