When Edgar Berlanga officially announced that he was a promotional free agent, practically every prominent figure in the boxing world picked up the phone and gave him a call. From advisor Al Haymon to promoter Oscar De La Hoya and his Golden Boy Promotions - everyone wanted to get their hands on the talented 26-year-old.
Although they were all enticing, there was something about Eddie Hearn’s offer that made Berlanga double back. Talks may have taken several months, but the super middleweight contender placed pen to paper and agreed to join Hearn’s Matchroom stable.
For Berlanga, his bills weren't simply going to pay themselves and the Puerto Rican native clearly pointed out that the zeros at the end of his Matchroom paycheck played a part in his signing. However, it wasn’t the biggest reason.
For a while now, Berlanga (21-0, 16 KOs) has stated that he would love to get his hands on Canelo Alvarez. Hearn, coincidently, had a track record of working with Alvarez. Actually, just a few short months ago, the longtime promoter facilitated a matchup between both Alvarez and John Ryder. With Hearn dangling a showdown against Alvarez in Berlanga’s face, the 26-year-old realized that signing with Hearn would be in his best interest.
For the most part, Berlanga’s deal with Matchroom has been shrouded in mystery. However, during a recent interview, Berlanga shed a bit of light on his current contract and how he was given full autonomy on its structure, and how Alvarez was promised to him.
“Three,” said Berlanga to DAZN when asked how many fights he’s contractually obligated to give Matchroom. “And one of those is Canelo. It was either fight one fight then fight Canelo or were gonna fight two fights then fight Canelo.”
So far, Berlanga took care of business in the first third of his deal, winning a wide unanimous decision against Jason Quigley. But while it appeared as though he was closer than ever before to landing a shot against the sport's biggest star, Alvarez hit the boxing world with unexpected news.
Just a few days before taking on Quigley, Alvarez revealed that he signed a three-fight deal with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions. In the first fight of his new deal, Alvarez will face off against Jermell Charlo on September 30th. Nothing is set in stone as of yet in terms of his two subsequent bouts but names such as David Benavidez, Jermall Charlo, Errol Spence Jr., and David Morrell, all of which are connected with PBC, are expected to have a strong shot at landing a showdown against Alvarez.
Essentially, Berlanga is the odd man out. Hearn though, could placate Berlanga by lining him up against the likes of Gennadiy Golovkin, Jaime Munguia, John Ryder, and several others. Yet for Berlanga, he doesn’t understand why everyone is laughing in his face as though he lost his chance to face Alvarez.
With three fights for Alvarez that will likely be associated with Showtime pay-per-view, Berlanga is convinced that despite Hearn having a nonexistent relationship with Haymon, he will face Alvarez at some point next year.
“I am going to be one of those three. We can still make that fight happen. Eddie just gotta sit down, go over to PBC, Al Haymon and we get a fight with Showtime pay-per-view.”