Edgar Berlanga didn’t get a first-round knockout of Demond Nicholson. Nicholson was good enough to go the distance, but it wasn’t pretty.
Many hoped that super middleweight Edgar Berlanga would get his 17th first-round knockout in a row, but Demond Nicholson broke the streak. Berlanga had to settle for a unanimous decision.
The late former champion Edwin Valero held the record for consecutive first-round knockouts with 18. Berlanga (17-0, 16 KOs) had 16 coming into his April 24 bout with Nicholson, but Nicholson’s experience allowed him to survive longer than expected against Berlanga.
Fans at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Florida, were heavily in Barlanga’s corner. The Top Rank fighter hails from New York but is of Puerto Rican descent. The Puerto Rican fans in the crowd roared every time Berlanga hurt Nicholson, which was often.
Berlanga came out in round 1 looking for power shots, but Nicholson moved well around the ring. Berlanga was supremely confident as Nicholson looked to evade more than fight. Nothing major landed in the round, and Nicholson became the first Berlanga opponent to make it out of the first round.
Berlanga came out hot to start round 2. He swung for the fences and connected on several hooks. Nicholson weathered the storm and tried to mount a bit of an offensive, but it was anemic compared to Berlanga’s barrage.
Nicholson (23-4-1, 20 KOs) looked safe but got touched by a Berlanga left hook to the head in the final minute and went down. He got up and held enough to survive another round.
Berlanga looked for the knockout early in round 3. He let the hooks fly as Nicholson remained in front of him. Close to midway in the round, Nicholson hit the canvas for the second time. It should have been a push, but the referee ruled it a knockdown. Nicholson got up but was becoming an easy target for Berlanga. To his credit, Berlanga kept his patience and continued to box as another round rolled by.
Edgar Berlanga couldn’t KO Demond Nicholson but smashed him for eight rounds
Berlanga caught Nicholson on the ropes midway through round 4, but Nicholson fought back. They fought at close quarters where Berlanga got the better of the action, but it might have been Nicholson’s best round, but he still lost it.
Nicholson went down early in round 5, but again, it looked like a push. He got to his feet and continued to box but ate more Berlanga hooks throughout the round. Nicholson trash-talked and stuck out his tongue, but it looked like an attempt at vanity.
With less than 30 seconds in round 6, Berlanga hurt Nicholson, but Nicholson remained upright. He stayed that way in round 7 as well. Berlanga looked tired as Nicholson tied him up for the majority of the round.
A game Nicholson gave it his all in round 8 and connected on a good right to Berlanga’s head. Fatigue set in for both fighters, and the punch output stalled. Berlanga connected with numerous right hooks that stunned Nicholson. He followed them up with another that put Nicholson down with seconds to go. Nicholson got up but was saved by the bell.
Berlanga didn’t get the knockout but bashed Nicholson for eight rounds to earn a unanimous decision. Nicholson went down four times but kept coming. Berlanga was dominant. It was the type of fight he needed to progress.
Berlanga went eight rounds and looked good doing it. He needs the rounds if he wants to evolve into a super middleweight champion. He showed resolve and skill as he continues to move up the ranks.