Hard-hitting undefeated 23-year old Super Middleweight prospect Edgar Berlanga knocked veteran Demond Nicholson down four times to secure 17th victory in Kissimmee, Florida in ESPN co-main event
Kissimmee, Fla.(April 24, 2021) — The boxing world wanted to know exactly what undefeated Super Middleweight Edgar Berlanga’s 16-fight first round knockout streak represented.
DMV native Demond Nicholson was expected to reveal more about the Brooklyn slugger – while still leaving the chance for an exciting conclusion. Nicholson, a 28-year old from Laurel, Maryland, came into the bout with nearly a 75 percent KO ratio, but 2 of his 3 losses were by knockouts.
Berlanga (17-0, 16 KOs) created several dramatic moments with his fight-changing power. With a variety of powerful punches, he dropped Nicholson (23-4-1, 20 KOs) four times in the 8-rounder and hurt him badly a number of times. Nicholson could’ve packed it in at any point after getting up from the canvas in Rounds 2, 3 and 5.
Berlanga’s chin was tested in a few spots, as the veteran managed to set a couple traps before the Brooklyn-based Puerto Rican’s power affected his legs. Nicholson landed one his biggest punches in the final round. In trying to finish the fight strong, Nicholson’s late-fight confidence exposed him to a final right hook from Berlanga that knocked him backwards and down to the canvas for a fourth time.
The veteran beat the count, but the bell sounded prior to any further action. The judges scored the fight unanimously in favor of Berlanga, but there wasn’t any suspense ahead of the wide decision’s scorecards of 79-69, 79-69 and 79-68.
Nicholson threw some left jabs to start the first round. He jabbed to the body and stuck around in front Berlanga with a normal level of alertness. The bout quickly started to bear some semblance to a competitive bout. Berlanga never really appeared to chase the knockout to keep his first round knockout streak alive.
With the action into the second frame, the young hard-hitting slugger found himself in a fight. Nicholson stood in and attempted to work in the pocket. Berlanga started to land with some power shots. Nicholson rolled with the shots and looked to set up Berlanga. Late in the round Berlanga struck. He dropped Nicholson with a left hook to the temple. The Maryland native beat the count and survived the final 20 seconds.
Nicholson moved back inside to open Round 3. He was back outside quickly. Berlanga looked for his openings, and scored another knockdown at around 1:40. Nicholson contested the knockdown, but the referee disagreed. Once the action resumed, Nicholson appeared to be steady but he was circling outside. Berlanga flashed his jab and remained patient.
To open Round 4 the two fighters circled the center of the ring trading jabs. Nicholson appeared to make an adjustment and return to boxing. Halfway through the round Nicholson allowed himself to get pinned to the ropes and Berlanga flurried. Nicholson fought his way off the ropes. Marching forward, Nicholson targeted Berlanga’s body. Berlanga landed a left hook that rocked Nicholson at the bell.
Nicholson was back in the pocket again to start Round 5. Berlanga landed another power punch that dropped Nicholson. He thought it would be ruled a slip, but the referee started another 10-count instead of cleaning off his gloves. Berlanga hurt Nicholson again in the final minute and once again before the final bell.
Berlanga continued to follow Nicholson and pressure the veteran in Round 6. Nicholson stepped forward and tried to assert himself center-ring. Berlanga landed another shot that stunned Nicholson – indicated by another smile. With just 30 seconds to go Nicholson was badly hurt again. Berlanga stepped forward with a barrage of punches. Nicholson survived the action.
In the opening moments of Round 7, the action stayed in the center of the ring. Nicholson attempted to compete but he could only muster so much with the accumulation of damage. Nicholson’s objective appeared to be to stay close and slow the action down. Berlanga complied, possibly needing to recharge himself. The Brooklyn native opened up with some shots late in the frame but it was an uneventful round.
Nicholson continued with the slow down tactics in the eight round. But, he landed a booming right hook to Berlanga’s face around the 2:00 mark. The 23-year old took the shot well. Nicholson appeared to be reinvigorated for a while. Berlanga rallied back in the final minute and clipped Nicholson, with a flush right hook on the chin, to get the fourth knockdown of the fight. Somehow the 28-year old beat the 10-count, but the bell sounded before the action could restart.
The boxing world finally got to see the “others”, concerning Berlanga’s makeup as a boxer. The cards were academic, the judges scored the fight unanimously with totals of 79-69 on two scorecards, and then 79-68 on the other.
The 23-year old improved to 17-0. He took some flush shots from a savvy veteran, he went the distance, we saw him manage a moment where he appeared to become fatigued and he carried his power late. Apparently, he made some mistakes in the eyes of chief second Andre Rozier. He quickly communicated his reasoning to his charge that prompted the post-fight set of push-ups Berlanga completed.
All photos by Mikey Williams/Top Rank