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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 09: Edgar Berlanga (L) and Alexis Angulo (R) face-off during the press conference ahead of the NABO super middleweight Championship fight, at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on June 09, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Boxing

Edgar Berlanga primed for Alexis Angulo test on Puerto Rican Day parade eve in New York City

The Chosen One” is back home. NABO super middleweight champion Edgar Berlanga takes center stage Saturday evening against two-time title challenge Alexis Angulo in the 10-round main event at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Berlanga, born in Brooklyn and whose family hails from Puerto Rico, takes the top spot on the eve of New York’s Puerto Rican Day Parade. A popular ticket-seller with fearsome knockout power, Berlanga (19-0, 16 KOs) hopes a win over the crafty Colombian gets him closer to a world title shot.

The winner of this fight will be the first recipient of Madison Square Garden’s Miguel Cotto Trophy. Puerto Rican icon Cotto, who is being inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame this weekend, headlined five MSG fight nights on the eve of the Puerto Rican Day Parade. Four-division world champion Cotto, from Caguas, will be ringside Saturday night.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 09: (L-R) Henry Lebron, Edgar Berlanga, Carl Moretti, Mark Shunock, Alexis Angulo, Luis Lebron attend the Edgar Berlanga vs Alexis Angulo press conference at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on June 09, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

In the eight-round co-feature of this all-Puerto Rican card, Henry Lebron (15-0, 10 KOs) and Luis Lebron (18-3-1, 11 KOs) will battle for the vacant WBO Latino junior lightweight belt. This fight was elevated to the co-feature after junior middleweight sensation Xander Zayas dropped out of his bout with a viral infection.

Berlanga-Angulo and Lebron-Lebron will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT.

Undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ (7:10 p.m. ET) and includes junior featherweight contender Carlos Caraballo (15-1, 14 KOs), junior welterweight prospect Omar Rosario (6-0, 2 KOs), comebacking featherweight Orlando Gonzalez (17-1, 10 KOs), and junior welterweight Josue “The Prodigy” Vargas (20-2, 9 KOs).

At Thursday’s press conference, this is what the fighters had to say.

Edgar Berlanga:

“I’m excited. It’s Puerto Rican Day {Parade} Weekend. {The first one} since the pandemic, two years. I’ve been dreaming about this since I was a kid. I feel like I spoke it into existence. My hard work paid off and now we’re here.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 09: Edgar Berlanga speaks during the press conference ahead of the NABO super middleweight Championship fight with Alexis Angulo, at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on June 09, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

“To be honest, my team and Top Rank felt like he was the perfect opponent for Puerto Rican Day Weekend. He’s the type of fighter that comes forward. Hopefully, he does that this Saturday. He’s a tough, rugged fighter. He makes it look ugly, comes forward. He has power just like me. He’s powerful, so it’s going to be an amazing night. And I’m excited to perform on Puerto Rican Day Weekend.”

On three straight fights without a KO:

“It’s part of the process. I’m young, 25 years old. What can I say? I have 16 first-round knockouts, so I didn’t really gain the experience I needed. Definitely, these last three fights, I got the experience I needed. That’s the most important thing to make yourself a real professional athlete. But not only that, at that top level, you need those rounds. You need that feeling of what it’s like to get in the eighth, 10th round, and we got that done. This Saturday, Puerto Rican Day Weekend, I’m looking for a huge victory. I’m ready to go all out.”

“A lot of people don’t understand the last two years of not having a Puerto Rican Day Weekend and actually having a fight on that weekend… I’m just looking forward to performing, exploding like I always do and bringing back the old Edgar Berlanga.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 09: Edgar Berlanga (L) and Alexis Angulo (R) pose during the press conference ahead of the NABO super middleweight Championship fight, at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on June 09, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Alexis Angulo:

“I’m very thankful for the opportunity, and I’m going to take full advantage of it. We’re going to put on a good presentation for everyone.”

“I see my two losses as big lessons, and we’re going to see what kind of result we get in this fight.”

“Part of the training camp we did in Colombia, part of the training camp we did in Miami. We have been trying different training techniques and things like that, so let’s see what kind of result we get in this fight.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 09: Henry Lebron (L) and Luis Lebron (R) face-off during the press conference ahead of the WBO Latino junior lightweight Championship fight, at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on June 09, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Henry Lebron:

“I’m very happy with this opportunity. This is my first press conference. I’m happy that it’s just before the Puerto Rican Day Parade at Madison Square Garden, and I’m here to represent with a lot of pride.”

“My last fight propelled me to do even better and to keep showing that I’m a complete fighter. It motivates me even more, and I’m going to show the same Henry Lebron for a very long time.”

“I have been under the radar for a long time, but that motivates me even more. I’m thankful for this opportunity. I’m going to take full advantage of it. I’m going to put on a show.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 09: Henry Lebron (L) and Luis Lebron (R) pose during the press conference ahead of the WBO Latino junior lightweight Championship fight, at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on June 09, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Luis Lebron:

“I’m thankful to Top Rank and ESPN, and I’m here to represent my countrymen and put on a good show for the fans.”

“I am going to take full advantage of this opportunity. I have faced a lot of undefeated fighters, and like I said, this is a blessing for me and I’m going to put on a show for the fans.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 09: (L-R) Edgar Berlanga, Jesselyn Silva and Alexis Angulo pose during the press conference ahead of the NABO super middleweight Championship fight, at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on June 09, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Saturday, June 11

ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+ (11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT)
Edgar Berlanga vs. Alexis Angulo, 10 rounds, Berlanga’s NABO Super Middleweight Title

Henry Lebron vs. Luis Lebron, 8 rounds, Vacant WBO Latino Junior Lightweight Title

 ESPN+ (7:10 p.m. ET/4:10 p.m. PT)
Carlos Caraballo vs. Victor Santillan, 8 rounds, junior featherweight

Josue Vargas vs. Dakota Linger, 8 rounds, junior welterweight

Armani Almestica vs. Eliseo Villalobos, 6 rounds, lightweight

Orlando Gonzalez vs. Pablo Cruz, 8 rounds, featherweight

Omar Rosario vs. Julio Rosa, 6 rounds, junior welterweight

Frevian Gonzalez vs. Refugio Montellano, 4 rounds, junior lightweight

Christina Cruz vs. Maryguenn Vellinga, 4 rounds, flyweight.

Credit: Top Rank Boxing

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