Berlanga vs McCrory Predictions: ‘The Chosen One’ can keep world title hopes alive

 | February 22 | 

3 mins read

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Edgar Berlanga takes on Padraig McCrory this Saturday as he continues his campaign to become a world champion. ‘The Chosen One’ resides in the top 10 of every major sanctioning body as well as The Ring magazine rankings. Berlanga’s 21-0 record with 16 knockouts points to an inexorable rise to prominence in the 168-pound division.

Berlanga vs McCrory Odds

  • Berlanga to win @ 1/5
  • McCrory to win @ 7/2
  • Draw @ 16/1

Standing in his way is McCrory, unbeaten in his own right at 18-0 with nine wins coming inside the distance. Ranked third by the WBA and 13th by the IBF, the Belfast boy has his own championship ambitions. McCrory held the lesser IBO title up at light heavyweight, but seems to have found a home at super middleweight.

Berlanga has been moved well to get to this point. The last couple of years have seen him face off with fighters who know all about championship level. The New Yorker’s last four fights have come against boxers who have all mixed in world class. Marcelo Coceres, Steve Rolls, Roamer Angulo and Jason Quigley have all been beaten. That group has been in with the likes of Billy Joe Saunders, Gennady Golovkin, Demetrius Andrade, David Benavidez and Gilberto Ramirez. All but Rolls have fought for world titles and, at the time Berlanga fought him, only ‘GGG’ had beaten him. Not a bad roll call.

McCrory’s competition has come at a level below that, but he has still gone unbeaten against some tough foes. Former world title challenger Marco Antonio Periban is something of a gatekeeper. The Mexican veteran has provided tests for luminaries like James DeGale, Joshua Buatsi, Sakio Bika and in a creditable 2013 draw with Badou Jack. McCrory dealt with him in five rounds in his last fight.


The Irishman’s best win came when he travelled to Germany to face home fighter Leon Bunn for the vacant IBO 175-pound strap. Unfazed by facing the unbeaten Frankfurt man, McCrory stopped him in six rounds to capture the belt. 

Berlanga will be aware of the qualities McCrory has shown and will take nothing for granted. But the Belfast fighter can be hurt. Steed Woodall rocked him in his last bout, before McCrory rallied to win a decision. He’s never been down, but the underdog can be gotten to. 

Berlanga can do damage with his fists too. While his punching power hasn’t been as prevalent since stepping up in class, 16 knockouts from 21 fights still tell a story. In his last fight, Berlanga knocked Quigley down four times on the way to winning a unanimous decision. The power hasn’t gone anywhere, though admittedly Quigley didn’t either. 

I’m backing that power to eventually prove too much. McCrory is tough, determined and knows this is his best ever chance to secure a world title shot. But lesser fighters than Berlanga have caught him. ‘The Chosen One’ won’t let McCrory off the hook when he hurts him. The 35-year-old from Northern Ireland will do himself proud and probably earn more big assignments but will ultimately succumb. I’m opting for Berlanga by knockout at 6/5 to keep his charge towards a world title shot on course.

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