New York native and proud Puerto Rican Edgar “The Chosen One” Berlanga has long dreamt of headlining in his hometown on Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend and he will get his wish in just over two weeks.
Berlanga will face off with Colombia’s Alexis Angulo on June 11 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in a 10-round super middleweight contest live on ESPN. He will defend his NABO super middleweight belt in his 20th professional fight against the two-time former world title contender.
In honor of Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend, which is making its return following a two-year hiatus due to COVID, Berlanga will top a full card of Puerto Rican boxers. “It means a lot. I’m thankful for the opportunity to once again be headlining in my hometown,” Berlanga said. “This is a dream come true for me to be able to do what Miguel Cotto and Tito Trinidad did, fighting on Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend. It’s a blessing and I’m happy.”
Berlanga and his team chose to hold his training camp for the June 11 fight in Puerto Rico, and he has enjoyed being on the island over the past several weeks. “I felt like it was good to do my camp here for this fight. I just wanted to show my face and let the people know that I’m here and that I really do love them and support them,” he said.
He has even gotten the chance to visit with two Puerto Rican legends during his time on the island, going for a jog with Trinidad shortly after his arrival, and visiting with Cotto during a training session at his gym in Caguas. The super middleweight prospect is extremely appreciative of their support and hopes to continue the strong legacy of Puerto Rican champions.
Representing his Puerto Rican roots has been important to Berlanga since he was a child. “It’s my blood and the roots of my family”. Generations of my family run through the island. We come from a small island but so many great champions have come from here and I want to fill those shoes,” Berlanga added.
He celebrated his 25th birthday on May 18 while he was in training camp but remained focused on the task at hand.
The June 11 bout will be Berlanga’s second main event at the Hulu Theater following a victory over Steve Rolls in front of a sold-out crowd on March 19.
Berlanga-Angulo and the Xander Zayas- Ravshan Hudaynazarov co-main event will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+ beginning at 10:30 pm ET/7:30 pm PT following undercard action on ESPN+.
HOMETOWN: Brooklyn, NY BIRTHDATE: May 18, 1997
WEIGHT CLASS: Super Middleweight HEIGHT: 6-1
PROFESSIONAL RECORD: 19-0 (16 KOs) STANCE: Orthodox
NABO SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION
Edgar Berlanga is best known for the 16-fight first round knockout streak that kicked off his pro career. Yet the highly touted super middleweight prospect has had a long journey in the sport since he first picked up the gloves at the age of seven. Berlanga grew up in the talent-laden New York boxing scene alongside multiple future stars of the sport.
Berlanga’s father, Edgar, Sr., introduced him to boxing shortly after he returned home from prison. He connected his son with friend and boxing coach, Benny Roman, and it wasn’t long before Berlanga’s natural talent shone through. Shortly after his first sparring session, they entered the youngster in his first Junior Olympic competition. Berlanga opened his young career with 11 straight victories and a future star was born.
Boxing wasn’t the only sport that piqued Berlanga’s interest as a youngster. He loved baseball and was killing it on the basketball court as well but ultimately his dad convinced him that the sweet science offered the most opportunities for Berlanga.
He enjoyed a strong amateur career, securing medals in several national championship events before making the decision to enter the professional ranks in April of 2016. Once Berlanga turned professional, he began to showcase power and explosiveness that he didn’t display as an amateur.
His first-round knockout streak began to catch the attention of the boxing world and he joined forces with promotional powerhouse Top Rank in his 10th professional fight. Berlanga continued his run of first-round knockouts in his Top Rank debut in front of a hometown crowd at Madison Square Garden in April of 2019. Berlanga’s fights quickly became must watch TV as fans and pundits alike watched to see which of his opponents would finally see the second round. The power punching prospect pushed the streak to 16 before was taken the distance in his 17th fight against Demond Nicholson.
He heard the final bell for the second time in his last fight against Marcelo Esteban Coceres on October 9 on the undercard of Tyson Fury – Deontay Wilder III. The outing was quite the learning experience for Berlanga who not only went 10 rounds for the first time but also suffered a bicep tear in the third round of the bout. Berlanga faced
Significant adversity for the first time in his young career, but he credits the bout for several lessons. He admits that he was too focused on trying to score the knockout and didn’t utilize his boxing skills but is pleased that he was able to learn so much in a victory.
Shortly after the bout, Berlanga underwent surgery to repair his torn left bicep and has relocated his training camp to Las Vegas for his March 19 fight to complete the necessary rehab on the injury. Following the completion of his rehab, Berlanga prepared for his first main even at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in his hometown of New York. Berlanga scored his 19th professional victory in his March fight.
Berlanga admits that he was born to be an entertainer and he loves every element of performing for an audience. His charisma, flashy personality and entertaining style has made him quite the celebrity magnet. From friends Tracy Morgan and Fat Joe to superstars Lil Wayne and Snoop Dogg as well as fellow athletes of every sport, Berlanga consistently draws big names to his fights. He hopes to add to his resume when the time is right, and no one would be surprised to see his bright smile lighting up the big screen.
A proud native of Brooklyn and the lower east side, Berlanga not only represents New York City but also his family’s native Puerto Rico. In fact, some of his earliest memories of the sweet science are watching Felix “Tito” Trinidad fight. He works hard to represent the Puerto Rican people and hopes to be the next great Puerto Rican boxing champion although he understands he has big shoes to fill.
Berlanga knows that he has a lot of eyes on him, and he’s always enjoyed being in the spotlight. It’s important to him to be a good role model for everyone looking up to him and to show young people that they can be anything that they want to be with hard work and sacrifice. He hopes to give the young kids coming behind up a blueprint for success, especially the younger boxers looking to follow in his footsteps.
Yet the biggest motivation in Berlanga’s life is his son, Chosen. He and his girlfriend Genesis Calderon welcomed their beautiful baby boy last year and he has certainly put things in perspective for Berlanga. He knows that he now has a family of his own and it’s his responsibility to provide for his son and show him the way in life just as his parents have done for him.
Berlanga credits both of his parents for teaching him so much and instilling work ethic, drive, and mental toughness in him throughout his life and he looks forward to guiding Chosen through life as his parents have done for him.
Berlanga is currently preparing for his 20th professional fight at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City on June 11. He will take on two-time world title challenger Alexis Angulo in a 10-round super middleweight contest live on ESPN and in front of his hometown crowd.