Edgar Berlanga and Top Rank severed their promotional pact in January due to differences around how the super middleweight wanted to steer his career.
The 25-year-old unrestricted free agent Berlanga (20-0, 16 KOs) is already in the midst of entertaining offers from a foursome that includes the likes of Al Haymon, Floyd Mayweather, Oscar De La Hoya, and Eddie Hearn.
Berlanga manager Keith Connolly will be tasked with presenting the most promising package to his client. Connolly is the 2019 Manager of the Year, as awarded by the Boxing Writers Association of America.
Connolly has been instrumental in guiding the careers of Daniel Jacobs and Sergiy Derevyanchenko and getting his fighters big-time fights and paydays – a combination that Berlanga is banging the table for as well.
“[Top Rank] was trying to slow me down. I just want to continue to grow as a fighter. I feel that I’m not a co-main event fighter. I sold out the Hulu Theater [in New York]. I did amazing numbers from the top-level position, not even being at my full potential because of my torn biceps injury from last year, and me coming back so soon and fighting these bigger fights as the main event under the bright lights,” Berlanga told co-hosts Akin Reyes and Barak Bess on “The DAZN Boxing Show.”
The super middleweight Berlanga said the fractures with Top Rank started to surface after his last fight in June, a 10-round unanimous decision win against Roamer Alexis Angulo.
The victory was the Brooklyn-born boxer’s fourth in a row via unanimous decision after stringing 16 consecutive knockouts to begin his career.
Although Bob Arum and Top Rank had different philosophies of how he was developing, Berlanga remained cordial after the breakup.
“I tip my hat off to them, always. It’s business at the end of the day. You move on. I didn’t get dropped. We just parted ways. There were a lot of disagreements happening,” said Berlanga.
“Right now for me, it’s about legacy, and also money. You mix everything in. I don’t duck no smoke. I come from the trenches. I’m from the projects. I’m a kid that came from the mud. I’m not ducking anybody. If we have to fight, we have to fight. But at the end of the day, it got to make sense. We wanted a much bigger fight. I wanted to fight somebody that was way above [Jesse Hart’s] level.
Berlanga said he would have taken the Hart fight in a heartbeat if he was guaranteed to earn a better purse.
“A guy like John Ryder. He wanted the fight. He had London. I had Puerto Rico. He’s in a position where he could fight Canelo [Alvarez], and if I beat him, it could possibly lead to a match with Canelo as well,” said Berlanga. “I have a whole country behind me. I’m looking at it like a businessman. Just like Canelo, Floyd [Mayweather], and [Oscar] De La Hoya. You look for the big fights and make that money.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.