THE RESULT: Edgar Berlanga knocks out Padraig McCrory at 2.44 of round six during their 12-round super-middleweight contest. The result was Berlanga’s first win inside the distance since 2020 having started his career with 16 first-round knockouts. Berlanga is now the mandatory challenger for the WBA world belt held by Canelo Alvarez.


KEY MOMENTS: For a fight dubbed ‘Shootout’ a punch barely landed in the opening round. Use of the elbow and head by Berlanga in the third proved he doesn’t cope too well with being frustrated during a fight. One round later Berlanga rocked McCrory with a left hand, but the Irishman survived. With less than 30 seconds remaining in the sixth Berlanga cracked McCrory with a jolting straight right and followed up with another right hand which put the 35-year-old down. Having got up at the count of nine McCory’s corner threw the towel in, and the fight was over.


RECORDS: Berlanga moves to, 22-0 (17) while McCrory tastes defeat for the first time and now has a record of 18-1 (9).


TALKING POINT: The pre-fight chatter of Berlanga being a possible opponent for Canelo in May. It’s hard to justify this being a realistic option because the level of opposition he has fought is far off what the Mexican is used to. But Berlanga is now the WBA mandatory challenger.


QUOTABLE: “It feels great to be back catching a live body. I feel amazing,” Berlanga told DAZN’s Chris Mannix in the ring afterwards. Questioned about the importance of getting the stoppage after a run of five fights without one he said, “It was super important. I told Padraig McCrory I was losing sleep over this fight because of him.” Berlanga was also asked if he believed he has earned a shot at Canelo after this victory. “I want him now. We want Canelo next. Boxing needs a Puerto Rican versus a Mexican star.”


WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? Whether Berlanga gets an opportunity to face Canelo in 2024 remains to be seen. Should he have to wait his turn then a step up in opposition is sorely needed for the 26-year-old. McCrory could stay at 168lbs or move back up to 175lbs and has the style to be involved in some entertaining scraps.