Edgar Berlanga to Fight Steve Rolls in Super Middleweight Bout This March

Edgar Berlanga is heading back to the ring this Spring…

The 24-year-old Puerto Rican professional boxer has agreed to terms for a super middleweight fight against Steve Rolls on March 19 at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, according to ESPN.

Edgar Berlanga

The bout will be Berlanga’s first since he tore his left biceps in Round 3 of his victory over Marcelo Esteban Coceres in October. Berlanga (18-0, 16 KOs) struggled at times in the fight and was even floored in Round 9, the first knockdown of his career.

Following surgery, the 24-year-old rehabbed at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas in preparation for his first headline bout on ESPN. Berlanga, a native of Brooklyn, New York, scored 16 first-round KOs in his first 16 fights.

His April decision win over Demond Nicholson, a fight in which he scored four knockdowns, was the first time he was extended past the opening round.

Before the injury, the bout with Rolls had been eyed as the December 11 co-feature to the Vasiliy LomachenkoRichard Commey fight.

Rolls (21-1, 12 KOs), a 37-year-old Canadian, is best known for his fourth-round KO loss to Gennadiy Golovkin in 2019. He has competed just twice since then, both wins inside the distance.

Amanda Serrano Defeats Miriam Gutierrez To Set Up Potential Fight Against Katie Taylor

Amanda Serrano is one step closer to the fight she’s been waiting for…

The 33-year-old Puerto Rican professional boxer, mixed martial artist and professional wrestler easily bested Miriam Gutierrez on Saturday night inside Amalie Arena, setting up what she hopes will be a potential massive fight against undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor.

Amanda SerranoIt’s a fight that has been discussed several times before but now appears ever so close to becoming a reality in 2022.

“It is the megafight for women’s boxing,” Serrano said. “You have pound-for-pound Top 3, however you look at it.”

While the fight date hasn’t been officially set yet, potential million-dollar purses and a venue of Madison Square Garden have been discussed by both Serrano’s team and Taylor’s.

Before she could think about it, though, she had to beat one more opponent to close out her 2021. In a 100-90, 99-91, 99-90 unanimous decision win over Gutierrez at lightweight, Serrano made it clear she’s one of the best fighters in the world. And by moving up to lightweight for this fight — and fighting as she did — she knows what she wants next.

Serrano moved up in weight for the fight, hiring a nutritionist for the first time and continually enjoying chocolate milkshakes — while enduring eating carrots, among her least favorite foods — to prep. She also sparred with fighters who weighed far more than the 135 pounds she was fighting at — 150-and 160-pounders — in an attempt to prepare for Gutierrez.

After the fight, Gutierrez told Serrano she weighed 160 pounds on Saturday. Serrano, meanwhile, weighed 133 pounds.

The prep work against heavier fighters showed from the opening bell. Serrano landed 46% of her power punches and 236 total punches to 129 for Gutierrez. Almost every round seemed similar to the first, in which Serrano consistently pummeled Gutierrez’s head and body, putting her in the corner and against the ropes several times and looking like she was going to send Gutierrez to the canvas.

Gutierrez held on. Barely. Serrano landed 37 of 86 punches in the first round, a massive 43%, according to Showtime stats, while Gutierrez landed only eight.

“The strategy was to just go out there and just beat her,” Serrano said. “Beat her every single round and dominate her. Just box and show that I’m an all-around fighter. That I could do whatever I want in. I can brawl with her. I can box with her. Body shots, head shots.

“I wanted to be a complete fighter. The knockout, if it came, it came. But I just wanted to make sure that I beat her.”

The next two rounds showed Serrano’s more clinical side. Her pacing was a little slower, but she still went at Gutierrez consistently. Gutierrez rarely seemed to take a step forward throughout the first half of the fight.

Serrano again got Gutierrez against the ropes for the final minute of the fourth round, continually landing shots. Through four rounds, Serrano outlanded Gutierrez in power punches 83-49. She was more active, more powerful and more accurate. Through six rounds, Serrano, from Brooklyn, New York, outlanded Gutierrez 119-69 in total.

“She punches so hard,” Gutierrez said. “And she is consistent.”

It was a master class missing just one thing: the knockout. She bloodied Gutierrez’s nose in the seventh. Sensing opportunity, she continually pounded Gutierrez’s face throughout the seventh round, a constant barrage Gutierrez, from Madrid, seemed fortunate to survive.

Gutierrez appeared to have her best round in the eighth, but even punches that were landing didn’t seem to matter. Serrano would take one punch on her way to landing two on Gutierrez.

The last round was more of the same for Serrano (42-1-1, 30 KO). She backed Gutierrez (14-2, 5 KO) onto the ropes and then landed multiple shots before Gutierrez was able to escape. To Gutierrez’s credit, she held on well despite taking a ton of punishment, including two swollen eyes and a bloody nose.

Meanwhile, Serrano looked like she just had a long run on the treadmill. And now, she could end up with what she’s hoping for next — the biggest fight of her career. And one Serrano’s co-promoter, Jake Paul, believes can carry a card on its own after her fighting as the co-feature on his past two cards.

“That’s its own main event,” Paul said after his knockout victory over Tyron Woodley in Saturday night’s main event. “For sure. And I’m so excited. I’m going to do everything in my power to make that fight the biggest female boxing fight in the history of the sport.”

Miguel Cotto Named to International Boxing Hall of Fame

Miguel Cotto entering the hall

The 41-year-old Puerto Rican former professional boxer will be enshrined into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, alongside Roy Jones Jr. and James Toney.

Miguel Cotto,Cotto, Jones and Toney highlight the Boxing Hall’s Class of 2022, as revealed on Tuesday.

They’re joined by female champions Holly Holm and Regina Hamlisch, alongside publicist Bill Caplan, journalist Ron Borges and historian/producer Bob Yalen.

When they’re all inducted on June 12 in Canastota, New York, the group will be accompanied by the previous two classes. Because of the pandemic, fighters from those classes — such as Floyd Mayweather, Andre Ward and Wladimir Klitschko — have yet to be enshrined.

Cotto (41-6, 33 KOs) retired at age 37 following an upset loss to Sadam Ali. One of the most accomplished boxers from Puerto Rico, Cotto routinely fought before sellout crowds at Madison Square Garden, thrilling the masses with his ferocious body punching.

Cotto won titles at 147 pounds and 154 before he upset Sergio Martinez for the middleweight championship. Cotto competed with three Hall of Famers during his career: a win over Shane Mosley and losses to Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Cotto was also defeated by future Hall of Famer Canelo Alvarez.

Cotto’s loss to Antonio Margarito in 2008 is a welterweight classic. He later avenged the defeat.

Marlon “Chito” Vera to Fight Frankie Edgar for UFC 268 in November

Marlon “Chito” Vera may be returning to the Octagon this fall…

The UFC is targeting a bantamweight matchup between the 28-year-old Ecuadorian mixed martial artist and Frankie Edgar for UFC 268 on November 6, according to ESPN.

Marlon “Chito” Rivera

Contracts haven’t been signed, but both sides have verbally agreed to the matchup. The pay-per-view event is expected to take place at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Vera (19-7-1) is riding some momentum, coming off a decision win over Davey Grant in June. He is 2-1 in his past three, including wins over Grant and Sean O’Malley. His loss in that stretch was to former featherweight champion Jose Aldo. He is 7-2 over his past nine.

A former lightweight champion, Edgar (24-9) is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Cory Sandhagen in February. A longtime lightweight and featherweight, Edgar has now competed in the UFC’s 135-pound division twice. He is 1-1, with a five-round decision win over Pedro Munhoz in August.

Edgar, 39, fights out of Toms River, New Jersey. This will mark his first fight in New York since 2016 and only the third overall of his storied career.

A welterweight title fight between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington is slated to headline the UFC 268 event.

Edgar Berlanga Agrees to Two-Fight Plan with Top Rank Boxing

Edgar Berlanga is ready to rumble… twice.

The 24-year-old Puerto Rican boxer has agreed to terms on a two-fight plan with Top Rank.

Edgar Berlanga

The first bout comes October 9 in Las Vegas against Marcelo Esteban Coceres, Berlanga said, in the main event of a Top Rank Boxing show on an ESPN platform that will lead into the Tyson FuryDeontay Wilder III fight on pay-per-view.

Berlanga’s second fight is December 11, the co-feature to Vasiliy Lomachenko‘s return in New York at Madison Square Garden. An opponent has yet to be finalized for that bout. The power-punching super middleweight Berlanga is in the midst of a multiyear deal with Top Rank. Financial terms were finalized for both of his upcoming fights.

“I’m knocking these guys in October and December; we’re not going to the scorecards,” said Berlanga (17-0, 16 KOs). “I want to let the world know after these two fights that I’m the guy they need to worry about.”

Berlanga was extended the distance for the first time in his last bout, an April win over Demond Nicholson. It was the first time Berlanga heard the bell to signal the start of Round 2 in his pro career. He scored first-round knockouts in each of his first 16 fights.

Berlanga dropped Nicholson three times but settled for the unanimous-decision victory. The Brooklynite will now face another durable opponent in Coceres (30-2-1, 16 KOs). The 30-year-old Argentine is best known for an 11th-round KO loss to Billy Joe Saunders in a 2019 title fight. That was his only fight outside of Argentina.

In January, Coceres lost again, this time a split-decision defeat to Sebastian Horacio Papeschi in Argentina. He rebounded with a second-round stoppage win in June over Nelson Nicolas Rosalez.

The two-fight plan promises to give Berlanga his greatest exposure yet as he inches closer to title contention. Despite 17 pro fights, he remains inexperienced with just 24 rounds in the professional ranks.

If all goes according to plan, Berlanga will return in March to Puerto Rico (the country his family hails from) before headlining at Madison Square Garden in June on Puerto Rican Parade Day weekend.

Alejandro Fernandez Announces 19-Date U.S. Leg of “Hecho en México” Tour

Alejandro Fernandez is rarin’ to get back on the road…

After a more than 12-month hiatus that saw him interrupt his tour mid-start, the 49-year-old Mexican superstar has announced a 19-date U.S. tour.

Alejandro Fernandez

It’ll see him performing with 25 people onstage, including his full band, his Mexican mariachi, special guests Christian Nodal and his son, Alex Fernández, as well as a handful of guests in different cities.

The “Hecho en México” tour, so named after Fernández’s Grammy-nominated album (out on Universal Music Latin), kicks off on September 10 in Reno, and ends October 24 in Phoenix.

The tour is presented by Live Nation, and tickets go on sale on April 16 at 10:00 am on Ticketmaster.

The tour will play to full capacity venues, says Luana Pagani, a partner in Seitrack, Fernandez’s management team. For these venues, it translates to 5,800 people at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden to nearly 15,000 at The Forum in Los Angeles.

“Nothing is ‘normal’ yet in terms of venues, but we understand all venues will follow their protocols, and we will as well,” says Pagani.

All visa and work requirements for Fernández and his musicians have already been cleared, and Fernandez will also perform at the Latin American Music Awards April 15.

For Fernandez, the import of his tour announcement is not lost, especially as one of Latin music’s biggest stars, as the scion of one of Mexico’s most prominent musical families (his father is Vicente Fernández), and as the spokesperson of Families Belong Together. The campaign of the National Domestic Workers Alliance works to end family separation, and will receive a portion of the tours’ proceeds.

“We lost a lot of people in this pandemic — fiends, family,” Fernández tells Billboard. “So the most important thing is we’re coming back properly, doing things right and with a very important message after all that’s happened, which is thanking God that we’re alive.”

Fernández, a prolific touring act, is known — like his father — for his bravura performances that are long on time and high on quality.

For “Hecho en México,” he is upping the ante by touring for the first time ever with his son, Alex Fernández, who is 25 and signed to Sony. The prospect recalls Fernández’s own stage debut alongside his father, when he was only six years old.

However, says Fernández, “I only started to tour when I was 18, so we’re not that far apart. Alex is a good kid. He’s dedicated and professional. He’s seen how my father works, and he’s seen how I work, and he’s responsible. He’s hungry to do things right.”

Fernández will also invite rising ranchero/norteño star Christian Nodal as a special guest on at least three tour stops. The two became close after recording the hit “Duele” together. It was the kind of cross-generational collaboration Fernández had not done before in Mexican music.

Fernández, that rare artist who’s able to navigate easily between traditional pop and traditional regional Mexican music, had most often collaborated with pop acts, and in his concerts he tends to mix styles and outfits to represent his two styles of music.

Partnering with Nodal, and also with Edén Muñoz of Calibre 50, who will be a guest in at least one show, highlights a new generation of Mexican music starts that are propelling the music forward.

“There’s a resurging interest for Mexican music,” agrees Fernández. “In fact, I’ll be singing some of my pop material, but in more Mexican arrangements.”

Fernández will also perform the entire tour dressed in the traditional formal charro garb that includes the broad-rimmed hat, tight decorated pants and a short fitted jacket.

That’s good news for Mexican fans, who are expected to fly in from Mexico to see Fernández’s shows, particularly on the West Coast. The month of September, which has traditionally drawn Mexican tourists to Las Vegas for the many Latin music performances that take place there as part of Mexican Independence, is expected to see a surge in travel, as concerts have not restarted in Mexico.

“Last year I had played Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City and a couple of dates in Guadalajara and then we had to put everything on hold,” says Fernández. “This will be an epic return.”

Here are the dates and venues for the “Hecho En Mexico” tour:

*with Alex Fernandez
+with Christian Nodal

Fri, Sept. 10 – Reno, NV – Grand Sierra Theatre^
Sat, Sept. 11 – Sacramento, CA – Golden 1 Center*
Sun, Sept. 12 – Fresno, CA – Save Mart Center*
Wed, Sept. 15 – Las Vegas, NV – MGM Grand Garden Arena*
Fri, Sept. 17 – Albuquerque, NM – Rio Rancho Events Center*
Sat, Sept. 18 – El Paso, TX – UTEP Don Haskins Center*
Fri, Sept. 24 – Houston, TX – Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land*
Sun, Sept. 26 – Chicago, IL – Allstate Arena*
Thurs, Sept. 30 – Boston, MA – Orpheum Theatre
Fri, Oct. 1 – New York, NY – Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden
Sun, Oct. 3 – Miami, FL – AmericanAirlines Arena
Tues, Oct. 5 – Atlanta, GA – Coca-Cola Roxy
Fri, Oct. 8 – Irving, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory*
Sat, Oct. 9 – Hidalgo, TX – Payne Arena*
Sun, Oct. 10 – San Antonio, TX – AT&T Center*
Fri, Oct. 15 – San Jose, CA – SAP Center at San Jose+
Sat, Oct. 16 – San Diego, CA – Viejas Arena+
Fri, Oct. 22 – Los Angeles, CA – The Forum+
Sun, Oct. 24 – Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Federal Theatre*

Banda MS Announces Return to Touring with U.S. Leg of “Banda MS Positivo Tour”

Banda MS is ready to hit the road again…

After a tumultuous year, The Mexican band has announced its return to touring with the U.S. leg of their Banda MS Positivo tour.

Banda-MS

Banda MS de Sergio Lizárraga promises a packed concert with banda sinaloense, acoustic, and norteño music, to name a few.

Banda MS Positivo tour, at the helm of CMN Entertainment, will kick off on September 3 at New York’s Madison Square Garden and run until November 6 at Indianapolis’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

They will make pit stops in D.C., Orlando, and Memphis, and other cities.

“We gave the industry a needed infusion,” Henry Cárdenas, CEO of Cárdenas Marketing Network (CMN), previously told Billboard. “It’s good for the market, and we’re ready to go.”

Producing arena concerts during the coronavirus pandemic is ambitious, but Cárdenas has a contingency plan that’s still built on the assumption that concerts will take place. He noted: “We can’t keep on postponing tours.”

Tickets for Banda MS Positivo will go on sale at 10:00 am on Friday, April 9, via Ticketmaster.com and WellsFargoCenterPhilly.com for the Philadelphia show.

Here are the full dates:

September 3, 2021 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
September 4, 2021 – Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center
September 5, 2021 – Washington, D.C. – Capital One Arena
September 24, 2021- Fort Myers, FL – Hertz Arena
September 26, 2021 – Orlando, FL – Amway Center
November 5, 2021 – Memphis, TN – FedEx Forum
November 6, 2021 – Indianapolis, IN – Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Nate Diaz to Fight Leon Edwards at UFC 262 in May

Nate Diaz is returning to The Octagon

Diaz, one of the most popular fighters in MMA, will fight Leon Edwards at UFC 262 on May 15 in Houston, according to ESPN.

Nate Diaz

Both fighters have verbally agreed to the fight, though the contract isn’t signed yet.

The fight will serve as a five-round co-main event for the card headlined by Charles Oliveira versus Michael Chandler for the vacant UFC lightweight title, sources said.

This will mark the first five-round, non-title co-main event in UFC history.

Diaz (20-12) hasn’t fought since his November 2019 loss to Jorge Masvidal at Madison Square Garden.

Edwards (18-3, 1 NC) is unbeaten in his past nine fights. He had won eight fights in a row; however, earlier this month, his bout against Belal Muhammad ended in a no contest after he hit Muhammad with an accidental eye poke in the second round, which resulted in Muhammad no longer being able to continue.

Edwards’ last loss was to Kamaru Usman, before Usman became UFC welterweight champion, in December 2015.

The promotion had hoped to book Edwards to face Colby Covington next, but couldn’t get Covington to agree to the fight for undisclosed reasons, sources said. The UFC pivoted to an Edwards-Diaz fight late last week.

UFC 262 will take place at the Toyota Center, home of the Houston Rockets.

UFC Eyeing Rematch Between Jorge Masvidal & Nate Diaz

It looks like Jorge Masvidal could be getting the chance for a repeat…

The UFC is eyeing a welterweight rematch between the 35-year-old Cuban and Peruvian American mixed martial artist and Nate Diaz, according to UFC president Dana White.

Jorge Masvidal

Bout agreements haven’t been signed, but both sides are reportedly interested in the rematch.

The UFC is looking to book the rematch as the next bout for both Masvidal and Diaz, but a date hasn’t been set. TMZ has reported that the fight is targeted for UFC 256 on December 12. But sources tell ESPN the fight could also take place in January.

Masvidal and Diaz squared off last November in the main event of UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden for the inaugural BMF Championship. Masvidal (35-14) defeated Diaz via TKO when ringside physicians stopped the bout after the third round due to a facial cut. Diaz protested the stoppage.

Masvidal, who made history as the first Latino on the cover of the mixed martial arts fighting video game EA Sports UFC, went on to challenge Kamaru Usman for the welterweight championship at UFC 251 last month in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Masvidal accepted the fight on short notice after Usman’s original opponent, Gilbert Burns, was forced off the card at the last minute due to a positive COVID-19 test. Masvidal lost via unanimous decision.

Diaz (20-12) has not fought since the loss to Masvidal. The 35-year-old Mexican American welterweight fought twice in 2019 after a three-year layoff. He defeated Anthony Pettis in August of 2019 before losing to Masvidal in November.

Edgar Berlanga Returning to Ring for Next Boxing Match

Edgar Berlangais heading back to the ring…

The 22-year-old Puerto Rican hard-hitting super middleweight boxer will be featured on the undercard of featherweight world titlist Shakur Stevenson‘s first defense, on March 14 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, according to Top Rank.

Edgar Berlanga

Top Rank said Berlanga’s opponent for the scheduled eight-round bout will be finalized next week, but the fight will be one of the preliminary bouts that’ll be streamed live on ESPN+beginning at 7:00 pm ET, ahead of the main card on ESPN at 10:30 p.m. The main card includes the previously announced meeting between Stevenson and challenger Miguel Marriagaand former junior featherweight world titlist Jessie Magdalenosquaring off with Sakaria Lukasin a 10-round featherweight fight.

Berlanga (13-0, 13 KOs), who hails from New York, has won all of his fights by first-round knockout.

“Hopefully, I can get in some rounds on March 14,” said Berlanga, who turned pro in 2016. “I want to show everyone I’m more than a one-round fighter. This is my time to shine.”

Berlanga’s longest ring appearance came in his most recent fight, when he needed 2 minutes, 45 seconds to knock out Cesar Nunezon December 14 at Madison Square Gardenon the Terence CrawfordEgidijus Kavaliauskasundercard.