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Hearn wants Edgar Berlanga to be Canelo Alvarez's next challenger – Boxing News


Promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed that he only has two fighters in Matchroom Boxing who are potential options for Canelo Alvarez's next fight in September: Edgar Berlanga and Dmitry Bivol.

Hearn believes that if Canelo doesn't face David Benavidez or Terence Crawford, Berlanga (22-0, 17 KOs), his WBA mandatory challenger at super middleweight, would be a good option.

Last year, Hearn signed 26-year-old Berlanga, a former Top Rank promoter, and paired him with two fringe British fighters, Jason Quigley and Padraig McCrory.

Some feel Hearn was reluctant to take a chance on Berlanga after he struggled to beat Quigley, a fighter Demetrius Andrade destroyed in two rounds when promoted by Matchroom.

Canelo's desire to participate in high-paying and motivating fights

“The only two fighters I have on contract right now are Edgar Berlanga, who is a WBA mandatory, and Dmitry Bivol, who has a win over Canelo,” promoter Eddie Hearn told the media when asked about the possibility of Terence Crawford fighting Canelo Alvarez in September.

Hearn cannot use Bivol because he is still waiting for his undisputed light heavyweight fight against Artur Beterbiev, which will take place either in late 2024 or early 2025. Even if Bivol were free, Canelo would never fight him again after losing to him in 2022.

“The most important thing for me is that DAZN continues to broadcast the Canelo Alvarez fights, which they do a great job of. They had a successful fight with Munguia, which also aired on DAZN and Amazon,” Hearn said.

Canelo's fearlessness and fight options

“He achieved everything. He has belts. He has a legacy. He has nothing else to do except fight fights that motivate him and bring him money. That's why when I listen to people criticize him about the $200 million for Benavidez, I think it's actually a great gamble because you never know. Someone can pay that amount,” Hearn said.

It will be interesting to see if the Saudis end up offering $200 million for Canelo to fight Benavidez. I doubt they'll do it because it's not worth it. Benavidez is too big and needs to fight at light heavyweight or heavyweight.

“What's the point of going out and saying, 'Give me $75 million to fight Benavidez?' Some will simply say, “Done.” “Give me 200 (million) dollars.” As I say: “Shoot for the stars.” If you miss, shoot at the clouds. If you shoot at the clouds and miss, you'll land on your butt,” Hearn said.

“Be it 200, be it 150, be it 100, I like the style. Hey, look, motherfucker. You want me to fight Benavidez? Do you want this fight? Pay me. I'll fight Berlanga next. I'll fight anyone.”

“One thing I know about Saul. He's not afraid of anyone. I promise you that he will fight anyone. He won't have a problem with Benavidez. No problem fighting Crawford. It's all about the money, but he wants to be in exciting fights. I know it.

Berlanga as a viable option

“This fight is not over yet. We are not negotiating for this fight. Still, Edgar is a must for Canelo. So at some point he will have to fight,” Hearn said of Edgar Berlanga, who he is promoting at Matchroom.

Berlanga would really help himself by getting a quick fight with Caleb Plant to solidify his position ahead of the Canelo match, but he has shown no interest in doing so. He made it clear that he will just wait and see if Canelo picks him for September.

“I understand there are bigger fights for Canelo, but if they don’t happen, why not fight your mandatory? Why not have a young super middleweight (Berlanga) who can punch and will lead to victory,” Hearn said.

“You have a guy from Puerto Rico (correction: born and raised in Brooklyn, New York). You have a boyfriend from Mexico. Edgar also likes to say such nonsense. You saw him. I think this is a big battle. Of course, Benavidez, Crawford are bigger fights than Berlanga, but if they are not available, you have a mandatory fight like Edgar Berlanga, I think you make the fight possible,” Hearn said.

Berlanga would have been a good option if he had fought at least one good opponent at 168 pounds in his career because his competition was terrible from day one. Top Rank fought Berlanga against 16 guys when he started his career with them and knocked them all out in the first round.

The fact that Top Rank continued to match Berlanga faintly suggested that they were trying to create a fighter who would turn into a fake star to take advantage of the New York fans.

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