Being a boxer with Puerto Rican roots and adopting the nickname “El Elegido” ( The Chosen One ) seems like more of a heresy than a compliment. To be called “chosen one” in the memory of a guy named Tito Trinidad is hard to believe. But it is what it is, as Americans would say ( It is what it is ).
Edgar Berlanga (18-0-0, 16 KOs), will have his first main fight this Saturday, March 19th at Madison Square Garden in New York against the powerful Canadian Steve Rolls (21-1-0, 12 KOs -Siege), on a very high-quality fight card from Top Rank. The event will be broadcast on ESPN+/ESPN Deportes. Edgar Berlanga has given himself that battle name and he has no choice but to try and live up to those high expectations.
Berlanga hasn’t fared badly so far. But on the contrary. His career in paid boxing has been a whirlwind one, he KO’d his first 16 opponents all in the first round and it really looks like he could be the next big star that Puerto Rican boxing is yearning for.
The mighty super middleweight has not fought since undergoing surgery to repair a tear in his left bicep sustained in his decider against Marcelo Esteban Coceres in October last year. Since Miguel ‘Junito’ Cotto (41-6-0, 33 KOs) retired in 2017, many good Puerto Rican boxers have struggled to fill that void, but they’re all on the way for one reason or another remained.
Looking for a closer look and to understand the responsibility that rests in his fists, here are three experts when asked if they think Berlanga really is the “chosen one” to become the next big Puerto Rican boxing superstar to become.