Berlanga bout added to Stevenson undercard


Hard-hitting super middleweight prospect Edgar Berlanga 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, Top Rank announced on Monday.

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 will be streamed live on ESPN+ beginning at 7 p.m. 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 Marriaga and former junior featherweight world titlist Jessie Magdaleno squaring off with Sakaria Lukas in a 10-round featherweight fight.

Berlanga (13-0, 13 KOs), 22, a Puerto Rican 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 Nunez on Dec. 14 at Madison Square Garden on the Terence Crawford-Egidijus Kavaliauskas undercard.

Also on the ESPN+ portion of the card:

  • Junior welterweight John Bauza (13-0, 5 KOs), 21, of North Bergen, New Jersey, will fight Romain Tomas (8-3, 1 KO), 31, a France native fighting out of Brooklyn, in an eight-rounder.

  • France-born, Brooklyn-based light heavyweight Frederic Julian (12-0, 10 KOs), a 31-year-old southpaw who has notched nine knockouts in a row, will face Victor Darocha (9-5-1, 6 KOs), 30, of Brazil, in a six-round match.

  • Queens, New York, welterweight Mathew Gonzalez (10-0, 6 KOs), a 24-year-old southpaw, will take on Dakota Linger (12-3-2, 8 KOs), 25, of Buckhannon, West Virginia, in a six-rounder.

  • Welterweight Pablo Valdez (3-0, 3 KOs), 36, of New York, will square off with Jordan Morales (3-7, 2 KOs), 30, of Sunbury, Pennsylvania, in a four-rounder. Valdez turned pro in July 2018 following an eight-year prison sentence.

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