20 For 20: Edgar Berlanga Decisions Alexis Angulo
Photos: Mikey Williams - Top Rank
Super middleweight contender Edgar "The Chosen One"
Berlanga didn't get the knockout, but in front of the
Puerto Rican faithful, he got the job done. Berlanga
(20-0, 16 KOs) defeated two-time world title challenger
Alexis Angulo (27-3, 23 KOs) by unanimous decision
(99-91 2x and 98-92) over 10 rounds in front of 4,357
fans Saturday evening at Hulu Theater at Madison Square
It was Berlanga's first headlining appearance on the eve
of the Puerto Rican Day Parade, a tradition made popular
by 2022 International Hall of Fame inductee Miguel
While Berlanga rose to fame following 16 first-round
knockouts to start his career, he won this fight by
boxing and using his jab to offset the
plodding-yet-aggressive Angulo. An Angulo uppercut
bloodied Berlanga's nose in the fourth, and Berlanga
appeared to attempt to bite Angulo in the seventh.
Berlanga landed clean left hooks and right hands in the
ninth and 10th rounds, but his Colombian foe ate all the
shots and kept coming.
“Mentally, I felt good. I felt happy the whole training
camp. I moved the training camp to Puerto Rico, and I
can’t be more grateful to be on my island training,"
Berlanga said. "I did a full camp for this fight, and
you see the difference tonight.
“He was throwing elbows. I was about to do a Mike Tyson
on him. He kept throwing his elbows, and I didn’t want
to get cut.”
Angulo said, "I think we both had a solid performance.
He’s a young fighter, he’s a strong fighter, but
nonetheless I think we both did well. I think I did
better than him."
Junior Lightweight: Henry Lebron (16-0, 10 KOs) UD 8
Luis Lebron (18-4-1, 11 KOs), Scores: 80-72, 79-73 and
78-74. In the all-Lebron Bowl, Henry Lebron made it 16
in a row with a masterclass in boxing off the back foot.
Luis Lebron pushed the pace in the bout's final stages,
but Henry Lebron early work proved too much for him to
overcome. Henry Lebron had the advantage in power shots
Junior Featherweight: Victor Santillan (12-0, 4 KOs) UD
8 Carlos Caraballo (15-2, 14 KOs), Scores: 78-74 2x and
77-75. In this all-southpaw affair, Santillan upset the
Puerto Rican crowd favorite with a disciplined display
of smart pressure. Santillan stunned Caraballo in the
fourth and seventh rounds, doing enough in the eyes of
the judges to pull away. Santillan had fought most of
his career in the Dominican Republic, but in his second
bout on American soil, he authored his signature win.
Junior Welterweight: Dakota Linger (13-5-3, 9 KOs) TKO 2
Josue Vargas (20-3, 9 KOs), 2:06. West Virginia native
Linger refused to read the script, shocking Vargas with
a brutal display of power punching. Early in the second
Linger landed an overhand right that dropped Vargas,
although the referee did not rule it a knockdown.
Sensing the end was near, Linger pressed forward and
floored Vargas with an uppercut. Vargas rose gingerly,
and following a barrage featuring dozens of winging
blows, the bout was stopped.
Lightweight: Armani Almestica (6-0, 6 KOs) TKO 6 Eliseo
Villalobos (2-3, 1 KO), 1:47. Southpaw puncher Almestica
kept his perfect knockout rate alive with a one-sided
drubbing of Villalobos, a native of Simi Valley,
California. In the sixth round, Almestica landed a
straight left hand that forced Villalobos back a step.
Due to the accumulation of punishment, referee Shadi
Murdaugh stopped the contest.
Featherweight: Orlando Gonzalez (18-1, 11 KOs) TKO 5
Pablo Cruz (22-5-1, 6 KOs), 1:00. Gonzalez was last seen
losing his '0' by unanimous decision last October to
Cuban star Robeisy Ramirez, but the Puerto Rican
southpaw returned with a vengeance. He battered Houston
native Cruz, stunning his outmatched foe at the end of
the second round. By the fifth, it was target practice,
and the bout was halted following a series of right
hooks to the head and body.
Junior Welterweight: Omar Rosario (7-0, 2 KOs) UD 6
Julio Rosa (4-1, 1 KO), Scores: 59-55 and 60-54 2x. It
was all Rosario in this battle of unbeatens, as the
140-pound upstart initiated the action. Rosa was never
in danger of being stopped and even opened up a cut
under Rosario's right eye. In the sixth round, Rosario
landed a series of left hooks to put a stamp on his
Lightweight: Frevian Gonzalez (5-1, 1 KO) UD 4 Refugio
Montellano (2-1, 1 KO) Scores: 40-36 3x. Almost one year
to the day since he suffered his first professional
defeat, Gonzalez, from Cidra, Puerto Rico, rebounded in
fine form in front of the partisan crowd. The 5'7
pressure fighter ripped body shots to Montellano's
midsection and swept all four rounds.
Flyweight: Christina Cruz (3-0) UD 4 Maryguenn Vellinga
(3-3-2, 2 KOs), Scores: 39-37 and 40-36 2x. Former U.S.
amateur star Cruz used her jab to counter the aggressive
Vellinga in the opening fight of the evening. It was a
rematch of their November 2021 fight, which Cruz also
won by unanimous decision.