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.

Emanuel Navarrete Defeats Juan Miguel Elorde to Retain Junior Featherweight Belt

Emanuel Navarrete is celebrating Mexico’s Independence Day with a W…

The 24-year-old Mexican professional boxer, the junior featherweight world titlist, retained his belt for the second time in a month after stopping Juan Miguel Elorde in the fourth round on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena.

Emanuel Navarrete

Fighting in the Top Rank Boxing on ESPN+co-feature, Navarrete took the fight on short notice for the opportunity to fight on Mexican Independence Dayweekend, and he took care of Elorde in fine fashion.

Navarrete (29-1, 25 KOs), who retained his 122-pound world title for the third time — each defense since May — had a slow first round, then unloaded repeatedly on Elorde, scoring a knockdown in the third round and eventually forcing the stoppage.

“I’m happy because I think I put on a great performance,” Navarrete said through a translator. “Fortunately, my opponent is OK, and I came out here to put on a show. I hope the fans enjoyed it on my very first Las Vegas show on Mexican Independence Day weekend. ‘Vaquero‘ Navarrete is here to stay.”

Navarrete was fighting less than a month after his last defense. On August 17, Navarrete headlined a Top Rankcard in Los Angeles and retained his title by third-round knockout of Francisco De Vaca. In the ring after the fight, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, wanting to put a fight involving a Mexican world titleholder on Fury’s undercard on the Mexican holiday weekend, asked Navarrete if he wanted to come back a month later, and Navarrete gleefully accepted.

Elorde had a good first round, landing a series of sharp punches; but Navarrete came back strong in the second round, as he got his potent left hook going and never let up.

Navarrete stopped Elorde in his tracks with a clean right hand in the third round and continued to attack him. Moments later, Navarrete rocked Elorde with a thudding left hand to the face that might have broken Elorde’s nose. Navarrete was in total control by the end of the round when he drilled Elorde into the ropes with a left and a right that counted as a knockdown because the ropes held him up.

Referee Russell Moratook a long look at Elorde in the corner after the third round, but the fight was allowed to continue. However, Navarrete hurt his opponent early in the round with a tremendous right hand that buckled him, and Mora jumped in and waved it off at 26 seconds.

“The most important thing here was that it was a good performance for me,” Navarrete said. “I think the referee did the right thing. He’s going to go home to his family and everything is going to be OK. It was a good performance on my behalf, and he gave what he could. At the end of the day, I came away with the hard-fought victory.”

According to CompuBox, Navarrete landed 88 of 220 punches (40%), and Elorde landed just 28 of 101 (28%).Elorde (28-2, 15 KOs), 32, of the Philippines — who is the grandson of Filipino legend and International Boxing Hall of FameGabriel “Flash” Elorde, the longtime 1960s junior lightweight world champion — also happily accepted the fight on three weeks’ notice. He

Jose Ramirez to Defend His Junior Welterweight Title Against Jose Zepeda 

Jose Ramirezis going on the defense…

The 26-year-old Mexican American boxer and Junior welterweight world titleholder will make his second defense against contender Jose Zepeda on February 10 at the Save Mart Center, the arena in Ramirez’s hometown of Fresno, California, where he has drawn sellout crowds.

Jose Ramirez

Top Rankannounced the bout, which will headline Top Rank Boxing on ESPNspecial Sunday edition (ESPN and ESPN Deportes, 7:00 pm ET, with the entire undercard streaming on ESPN+beginning at 4 p.m. ET).

Ramirez is known for his copious amount of public service in his community and it will continue with this card. Top Rank announced that a portion of each ticket sold will benefit the Community Cancer Institutein Clovis, California. Ramirez also will auction off his fight-worn trunks, gloves, shirt and shoes, with all proceeds to benefit the Community Cancer Institute.

“I feel blessed to defend my title a second time at home against a great opponent and also support an issue that affects everyone and their families,” Ramirez said. “Let’s all band together to KO cancer and remember that every moment counts.”

Top Rank chairman Bob Arumhas regularly lauded Ramirez’s charitable efforts.

“Jose Ramirez is a great young champion and an even better person,” Arum said. “We are proud to be involved with an event that will raise a tremendous amount of exposure for cancer research. Zepeda is a really tough fighter who will give Jose an excellent fight. The fans in the Central Valley have supported Jose since day one, and I expect another fantastic crowd at the Save Mart Center.”

Ramirez (23-0, 16 KOs), a 2012 U.S. Olympian, will be in his second fight with head trainer Robert Garcia. Ramirez won a vacant 140-pound world title by lopsided decision over Amir Imamin March in New York and then returned to the Save Mart Center in September and outpointed Antonio Orozcoin a one-sided, action-packed fight.

Zepeda (30-1, 25 KOs), 29, a southpaw from La Puente, California, will be getting his second opportunity to fight for a world title.

He is unbeaten in eight consecutive fights — 7-0 with a head-butt induced no contest — since he dislocated his left shoulder and was unable continue against then-lightweight world titlist Terry Flanagan in July 2015, which resulted in a second-round stoppage loss.

“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity since my first world title shot against Terry Flanagan,” Zepeda said. “I’m going to train very hard, better than ever before. I’m very thankful to my team and Jose Ramirez for giving me this chance. I’m not going to waste it, and that’s why I’m training so hard.”