Canelo Alvarez needs to face rising super middleweight Edgar Berlanga, promoter Eddie Hearn says after his Brooklyn-born fighter obliterated Padraig McCrory in six rounds

  • Edgar Berlanga scored his first knockout in more than three years in Orlando
  • Now he wants to face Canelo Alvarez, boxing’s undisputed king at 168 pounds 
  • provides all the latest international sports news

Edgar Berlanga scored his first knockout in more than three years with Saturday’s sixth-round stoppage of Padraig McCrory – and now the 26-year-old super middleweight wants to fight Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.

‘I want him now,’ Berlanga (22-0, 17 KOs) told DAZN’s Chris Mannix after his win in Orlando on Saturday. ‘We want Canelo next.’

Berlanga, a Brooklyn boxer of Puerto Rican descent, famously scored 16 knockouts in his first 16 fights, but that streak came to an abrupt stop in 2022, with difficult unanimous-decision victories over Steve Rolls, Roamer Alexis Angulo, and Jason Quigley.

Things were at their worst for Berlanga against Angulo, when he tried to bite his opponent and was subsequently given a six-month ban by the New York State Athletic Commission.

Now Berlanga and promoter Eddie Hearn believe he showed enough with McCrory to warrant a title shot against Mexico’s Alvarez, the undisputed champion at 168 pounds.

Edgar Berlanga celebrates his win over Padraig McCrory with Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn

World boxing champion, Saul Alvarez, known as Canelo Alvarez during the Award ceremony for the 2023 National Sports Award and Encouragement to the Delegations at the Pan American and Parapan American Games in Santiago, Chile

Edgar Berlanga and Padraig McCrory during their fight at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida

Edgar Berlanga (far right) wants Canelo (left) after beating Padraig McCrory (near right)

‘Unbelievable night of action in Orlando, and what a statement from Edgar Berlanga,’ Matchroom’s Hearn told DAZN later that evening. ‘Now, the No. 1-ranked super middleweight in the word…. Mexico against Puerto Rico. Let’s make it happen in 2024.’

Hearn had a similar message in his post-match interview.

‘It’s only a matter of time,’ Hearn told DAZN. ‘Puerto Rico against Mexico — that will be a huge event — Edgar Berlanga against Canelo Alvarez. And listen, maybe there is one more [fight until a Canelo bout], but I’ll tell you now… if the call came, he wouldn’t back down.’

And unlike Jermell Charlo, who looked hopeless during his unanimous-decision defeat to Canelo in September, Berlanga poses a real threat to the super middleweight king, according to Hearn.

‘[Berlanga] wouldn’t run around the ring to try to survive for 12 rounds,’ Hean said. ‘He’d stand and fight with Canelo Alvarez. He’d give the fans a great, great fight, and that’s what people want to see.’

‘Boxing needs that,’ Berlanga added. ‘They need a Puerto Rican star versus a Mexican star. That’s what boxing needs. That would be the biggest fight of this year.’

The age-old Mexican-Puerto Rican boxing rivalry aside, there are more than a few obstacles preventing a Canelo-Berlanga bout.

Berlanga scored his first stoppage victory since 2020 with the win over McCrory

Berlanga scored his first stoppage victory since 2020 with the win over McCrory 

David Benavidez Sr. claims his son already received an offer from Alvarez, but one that would only pay the ‘minimum’ of $5 million to the challenger.

‘I got a call from [promoter] Sampson [Lewkowicz], and he said the camp for Canelo Alvarez wanted to take the fight [with David Benavidez], but the only way they would take the fight is if we would take the minimum,’ Benavidez Sr. said, as quoted by

Benavidez Sr. said he agreed to the purse. :’I said, ‘Sure, no problem. We just want the opportunity to fight.’

Alvarez typically has a fight over the Cinco de Mayo holiday weekend, which is when he’s believed to be fighting next.