Edgar Belranga on fight this weekend

Edgar Barlenga is looking to ‘school’ Padraig McCrory

Edgar Berlanga is putting everything on the line as he prepares to face Belfast boxer Padraig McCrory at the Caribe Royal in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday.

While the undefeated American dreams of a fight with the undisputed champion in the division, Canelo Alvarez, he is not overlooking the undefeated Irishman.

He said: “We have trained very hard for this fight; we train hard for every fight, but we have particularly trained very hard for him. I’m not overlooking him; I know he is undefeated and he is coming in with something different.

“I think it is going to be an explosive fight. I think it is going to be an amazing night for us. I know he is coming to fight; he may feel like he has something to prove, but I’m a brick wall, and he is going to have to try and break it, which he won’t, and I will just handle my business this weekend.”

McCrory will fight for only the third time outside his home city of Belfast when he travels to Florida to take on the 26-year-old.

And Berlanga believes that this will be one of the decisive factors in the bout.

He said: “He is walking into a danger zone, as not a lot of people know, but the area in Orlando where we are fighting is like a mini-Puerto Rico. After the hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, almost 1 million people moved to Orlando, so this is going to be a packed-out night, so he is definitely going to feel the energy in here.”

But with the WBO super middleweight title on the line, Berlanga is aware that he will need to be on form.

And the boxer, proud of his Puerto Rican heritage, wants to show why he is undefeated and to be considered Alvarez’s next opponent.

He said: “It will come down to skill and the will to win. It is not too much about power; I know a lot of people talk about power, but I really want to go in there and school him with my IQ, and if it comes, it comes, but I really want to perform and show the world that I’m not just a puncher but a beautiful boxer and can do it all.”

Berlanga said that he is aware that many Irish boxing fans will be supporting his opponent on Saturday.

But he holds great fondness for Irish boxing and sees a lot of similarities between the Puerto Ricans and the Irish.

“I love my fans in Ireland; there are a large number of them, if you believe it or not,” said Berlanga.

He added: “I’ve got a lot of Irish friends, and they love to fight. Ireland is a major boxing nation, similar to Mexico and Puerto Rico.

“The Puerto Ricans love to fight; they love the blood, sweat, and tears. Being able to fight is inherent in you if you are from Puerto Rico, and the same goes for the Irish.”

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