Boxing

Edgar Berlanga vs Steve Rolls


Three young Puerto Rican stars are getting ready for the spotlight at Madison Square Garden.

Super-middleweight Edgar “The Chosen One” Berlanga (18-0, 16 KOs) will make his main event debut Saturday night in a 10-round bout against longtime rival Steve Rolls (21-1, 12 KOs). ).

Xander Zayas (12-0.9 KOs) tied in an eight-round junior middleweight match against Louisiana-born rogue Quincy LaVallais (12-2-1, 7 KOs).

In the eight-round televised opening match, junior John “El Terrible” Bauza (16-0, 7 KOs) was promoted to Canadian Tony “Lightning” Luis (29-4, 10 KOs).

The TV trilogy begins at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN & ESPN Deportes (airing on ESPN+). The missing action will go live live and exclusive on ESPN+ (7:15 p.m. ET) and includes the return of Brooklyn-born Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington (2-0.1 KO), Kelvin Davis (3-0.2 KO), and juniors light rising Henry Lebron (14 -0.9 KO).

Here’s what the main gamblers had to say at Thursday’s press conference.

Edgar Berlanga

“I’m feeling great. I want to thank Top Rated and ESPN for finally making it happen here in my hometown. That’s a stroke of luck, man. I am looking forward to Saturday”.

“It’s about adversity. In my last fight, I tore my bicep in the third round. I broke his orbital bone in three places. I should have stopped the fight in the 10th game, but I was eliminated in the ninth. So for me, I just feel like I need that for my career. I needed that adversity.”

“Every boxer goes through that in their career, especially at a young age. I knew I would get out of that situation because I tore my bicep in the third round and fought seven rounds like that — a lot of fighters gave up because the pain was ridiculous. But I got it as it came. We won. I won the WBO NABO title, and we moved to Las Vegas, and now we’re ready for Saturday. ”

“I don’t like predictions at all. He’s a tough veteran. He went into it with the best. And for me, I just want to perform. I’m ready to blow the roof off this place. I’m just ready to explode. It will be fireworks as always. “

Steve Rolls

“I think he wants to step up and get closer to the world championship title. He wants a challenge. That’s why they chose me. I’m sure he could take an easier route. But, credit him for choosing an opponent of my caliber. ”

“I will bring experience into this fight. I still have big goals that I have and that I need to accomplish. That’s what war is all about [against Golovkin]. It was not a fight where I was exhausted or uncompetitive. I made a mistake. He has experience. And I think that will serve me well on Saturday night. ”

“I have a goal. I wanted to put a world title around my waist, so there was pressure on both of us. He’s not the only one under pressure. This is a fight we both need. The training camp went well. I am strong. A lot of people say this, but I’m really in the best shape of my life right now. So that’s what drives me, man. When I started doing this, I started putting a world title around my waist. That’s what keeps me moving forward.”

Xander Zayas

“I am extremely excited. This is my first battle of the year. It was an eight round against a great opponent. That’s what we’re looking for. I’m getting ready for a show on Saturday night. ”

“It was a good fight. I wouldn’t say it’s the biggest challenge because the biggest challenge is yet to come. That’s another stepping stone. I have to join a program. I must declare and show the world that I am here to stay. “

“It all starts with the team and the family. I have a great team and a great family. I know what I’m here for. I know what my dream is. I just need to stay focused, keep winning and keep moving forward. That’s what makes me really grounded.”

Quincy LaVallais

“I feel like my experience will help me in this fight. I feel like he hasn’t developed enough to be a 154-pound person. I feel he’s a good fighter, but I’m going to take him to another level to show him that this is a different ball game.”

“I feel great knowing that I can go to someone’s hometown, beat them, get some of their fans, and then come home and do it all over again. I will keep doing it, over and over again. “

John Bauza

“I want to thank God and Top Rank for getting me on ESPN. I don’t know that will happen. I’m so glad I’ll be a part of that main card. ”

“From the beginning, I tried to be a better boxer. I’ve always liked to do a nice boxing style, hit and miss. But because they criticized me a lot, saying that I didn’t have any strength or that I was boring, I decided to show everyone that I have power and that I can knock people down. We’ll see what happens in this fight. We’re going to win, that’s the most important thing.”

“I feel proud to stand next to two future stars, just like I am, and to prove that Puerto Rico is still alive in the sport.”

Tony Luis

“I have kept my form. I’m still active. Last year, we had some difficulty making some matches a reality. Things with COVID destroyed them. It is beyond my control. I am in the gym. I’m still active. I have attended. So I feel good, and my body is healthy now too. ”

“It is an honor to fight here. We came very close before in my career to be here, but everything fell through. But now I’m finally here, and it’s great. ”

“I definitely rise to the level of the opponent in front of me. I know the odds are piling up against me. Politically, I won’t fit the agenda. I know that. That just energizes me. I trained to be the best. I also wish him the best. It will be an uphill battle. “

SATURDAY, March 19
ESPN & ESPN Deportes (Simulcast on ESPN+)
10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT

Edgar Berlanga vs Steve Rolls, 10 rounds, Berlanga’s NABO super middleweight belt

Xander Zayas vs. Quincy LaVallais, 8 rounds, junior middleweight

John Bauza vs Tony Luis, 8 rounds, smaller weight division

Live and Exclusive on ESPN+
7:15 p.m. ET / 4:15 p.m. PT

Jahi Tucker vs. Tracey McGruder, 6 rounds, welterweight division

Henry Lebron vs Josec Ruiz, 8 rounds, lightweight

Bruce Carrington vs. Yerui Andujar, 6 rounds, lightweight

Armani Almestica vs Luis Valentin Portalatin, 4 rounds, smaller division

Kelvin Davis vs Phillip Carmouche, 4 rounds, junior weight division



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