Boxing results, roundup: Edgar Berlanga disappoints in victory while Sunny Edwards shines in retaining title

Saturday was another loaded day of boxing, with major contests taking place in the United States, Dubai and Japan. Those fights included a top prospect in action as well as two championship contests.

The day’s capper saw Edgar Berlanga in action against Steve Rolls from Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater. Berlanga, once a red-hot prospect after scoring 16 first-round knockouts to begin his career, was looking to rebound from a questionable performance in his last outing, where he was knocked down by Marcelo Coceres in a shockingly close bout. Berlanga was also returning from surgery to repair a torn bicep suffered in that bout.

For his third straight outing, Berlanga was unable to finish off an opponent as Rolls was never truly in trouble during the 10 rounds of action. Unfortunately for Rolls, he waited until well into the second half of the fight before he turned up his aggression, having clear success in landing shots on Berlanga but giving up so many early rounds with a cautious approach that there was no victory to be had on the scorecards. Berlanga ultimately won by tallies of 97-93, 97-93 and 96-94.

Berlanga remained undefeated with the win, but many of the questions that were already out on him since the first-round knockout train stopped rolling will only intensify after a relatively lifeless performance against Rolls, with plodding footwork, holes in his defense and a lack of an offensive attack that sees him fail to use one shot to set up another.

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It’s rare to see hype die down so quickly for a young prospect without them suffering a loss. But after his first time in the main event and three straight decisions, many are beginning to question if Berlanga has the tools to become more than an interesting bit of trivia for the knockout streak that kicked off his career.

Let’s take a look at some other results and news from a busy day in boxing.

Sunny Edwards retains IBF flyweight title in Dubai

Muhammad Waseem gave a spirited effort in challenging for Sunny Edwards’ IBF flyweight title in Dubai. But Waseem ultimately came up short when Edwards retained the belt by scores of 115-111, 115-111, and 116-110. Edwards spent parts of the fight abandoning his standard slick, low-risk style and instead choosing to engage in inside battles with Waseem. Allowing Waseem to fight in his comfort zone gave the challenger plenty of moments to shine, but Edwards’ speed and technique won the day after 12 full rounds, marking the second successful defense of his title.

Attention now turns to a potential unification bout with WBC champion Julio Cesar Martinez, which Edwards maintained was a bout both men wanted to see go down, saying, “It’s not so much Martinez himself, I know he wants to fight, but Eddie Hearn, you’re the best promoter in the world. Please, Eddie, give me that fight.”

On the event’s undercard, former WBA light welterweight champion Regis Prograis was in action against Tyrone McKenna. Prograis made easy work of McKenna, scoring a knockdown in the second round and continuing to control the action until McKenna was stopped on a cut in the sixth round. After the fight, Prograis stated that he wanted to fight Jack Catterall. Given that undisputed champion Josh Taylor plans to move up in weight and vacate his titles, Prograis vs. Catterall would be a solid championship fight down the road, however the sanctioning bodies choose to approach the soon-to-be-vacant titles.

Kenshiro Teraji shines, wins WBC light flyweight title

This past September, Masamichi Yabuki scored a stunning upset of Kenshiro Teraji, stopping Teraji in Round 10 to win the WBC light flyweight championship. Yabuki entered that fight as a mandatory challenger while Teraji was looking to simply handle business against what many felt would be an overmatched opponent for his ninth title defense. Yabuki had planned to retire after the fight but continued his career after becoming world champion.

On Saturday, Teraji was out for revenge and got it in brutal fashion. Yabuki was unable to make it three full rounds against a determined Teraji. In the third round, Yabuki was attempting to back away from a Teraji assault that included some heavy shots to the body, but left his guard down, allowing Teraji to land a devastating right cross that sent Yabuki crashing to the canvas. While Yabuki was able to beat the count, the referee waived off the fight, returning the championship to Teraji’s clutches.

Alexis Rocha stops Brian Cobbs in fun scrap

After Vergil Ortiz was forced out of his planned main event on DAZN’s show, Alexis Rocha and Brian Cobbs got the opportunity to main event the card. Given that chance to shine, both men put on a show that rewarded anyone who chose to tune in despite the loss of Ortiz’s starpower.

Cobbs was able to hang early, largely going shot-for-shot with Rocha before Rocha’s technique and power took over the fight. A big uppercut in Round 8 put Cobbs on the ground, but it was a brutal flurry in the ninth that brought the fight to an end as Cobbs was badly stunned before the referee stepped in to stop the fight. It was obviously the correct call as Cobbs was gone enough that he was weakly attempting to throw body shots at the referee during the stoppage as a result of his having been scrambled a bit by Rocha’s power in the finishing flurry.