Edgar Berlanga: At this time Padraig McCrory is my focus

Edgar Berlanga defends WBO NABO super middleweight title against Padraig McCrory live on DAZN

Edgar Berlanga takes on Padraig McCrory live from Caribe Royale Orlando in Orlando, Florida on Saturday, February 24. The undefeated Puerto Rican defends his WBO NABO super middleweight title against the unbeaten challenger of Northern Ireland.

Berlanga (21-0 16 KOs) previously mentioned that this weekend’s victory could open the doors to bigger fights against the likes of Canelo Alvarez and Jaime Munguia. Nevertheless, at the final pre-fight press conference, the 26-year-old Brooklyn native said he was focused on the task at hand.

“We don’t overlook anyone,’ Berlanga said. “Padraig is a tough guy, he’s coming from Ireland, he’s undefeated, he’s coming from the bottom just like I am, and we’re ready.”

“Every fighter is going to come to try to beat me, and we know that. I know that the competition is getting heavier and tougher, so we’ve prepped very well in this camp. At this level, anything can happen, and we understand that. In the super middleweight division, you can have no power but when you put ten-ounce gloves on, anybody can punch. So, we’ve taken him very seriously and I’m happy that he took the fight.”

Edgar Berlanga
Edgar Berlanga | Ed Mulholland/Matchroom
Edgar Berlanga, Eddie Hearn and Padraig McCrory
Edgar Berlanga, Eddie Hearn and Padraig McCrory | Ed Mulholland/Matchroom
Edgar Berlanga vs Padraig McCrory
Edgar Berlanga vs Padraig McCrory | Ed Mulholland/Matchroom
Edgar Berlanga vs Padraig McCrory press conference
Edgar Berlanga vs Padraig McCrory | Ed Mulholland/Matchroom

“At this time, Saturday is my focus, Padraig McCrory. I don’t give a f**k about Canelo, Munguia, it’s this man across from me that’s trying to take my ‘0’, so I have to put my focus on him and handle my business and then eventually, we can focus on those guys.”

“We come from the slums too, I haven’t had it all nice. When I turned pro, no-one wanted to sign me, my first three fights were in Mexico. He’s Irish, we’re Puerto Rico, we get it popping. It’s statement season. Superstar week, because I have to shine. Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano, they sell out a lot of fights because it’s Puerto Rico vs. the Irish, and I take my hat off to the Irish fighters because they are tough, and they come to fight.”

Padraig McCrory: I think I have got what it takes to win this fight

Padraig McCrory (18-0 9 KOs) makes his U.S. ring debut. The 35-year-old Belfast man, who previously dubbed himself Berlanga’s “hardest fight” said he had a plan to pull off an upset and come out victorious.

“I want to thank you, Matchroom and Mick and Jamie with Conlan Boxing for this massive opportunity. It’s the biggest fight of my career and I have trained like it is. Now it is up to me on Saturday night to put on a show.”

Padraig McCrory
Padraig McCrory | Ed Mulholland/Matchroom

“There’s been a lot of work going on for me, I started in 2017, I’m 35 and people are questioning why only 18 fights. But I didn’t fight until I was 29, and then COVID happened. So I have been very busy, I’ve built my career to this point and people believe in me, but the main thing is that I believe in myself and that this is the platform and opportunity that I need.”

“He’s a very good fighter. He’s the main event, the star, it’s the Berlanga show and I’m just here to show up, I’m just a guy from West Belfast, no-one expects anything from me. But I think I have got what it takes to win this fight, we’ve trained hard and meticulously gone through tactics so whether it’s Game A, B or C, we’re ready for what he bring.”

“He fights the way he fights so if I don’t put in place what we have planned, it’s a very tough fight. I’ve been screaming for this opportunity, Matchroom and DAZN is the biggest platform for me in the sport, and now it’s here I have to show up.”

Eddie Hearn and Padraig McCrory
Eddie Hearn and Padraig McCrory | Ed Mulholland/Matchroom
Edgar Berlanga vs Padraig McCrory
Edgar Berlanga vs Padraig McCrory | Ed Mulholland/Matchroom

In the co-main event, Andy Cruz (2-0, 1 KO) of Cuba goes up against Brayan Zamarippa (14-2, 5 KOs) of Mexico. The bout is scheduled to 10 rounds at lightweight. The IBF International and WBA Continental Latin-American titles are up for grabs.

Among Berlanga vs McCrory undercard bouts, Uzbekistan’s unbeaten Shakhram Giyasov (14-0, 9 KOs) faces Pablo Cesar Cano (35-8-1, 25 KOs) of Mexico. The pair squares off in the WBA welterweight title eliminator.

Plus, Antonio Vargas (17-1, 9 KOs) of Houston, Texas meets Jonathan Rodriguez (17-1-1, 7 KOs) of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. The 12-round bout serves as the WBA bantamweight title eliminator.

Parviz Iskenderov
Parviz Iskenderov is a former Muay Thai fighter, sports manager and editor at FIGHTMAG.

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