Edgar Berlanga, Xander Zias and Kishon Davis: Three boxing stars within the making

Saturday’s combat card on the Hulu Theater in Madison Sq. Backyard may provide a glimpse into future world champions (ESPN/ESPN+, 10PM ET, with introductions on ESPN+ at 7:10PM ET).

The High Rank card in some of the historic locations in boxing options two of essentially the most fascinating alternatives for the promotional firm – tremendous middleweight Edgar Berlanga and junior middleweight Xander Zayas.

The 2 unbeaten gamers are trying ahead to persevering with their rise within the sport on a busy boxing weekend. 2020 Olympic silver medalist Kishon Davis was scheduled to face Esteban Sanchez on this New York card, however needed to withdraw on account of sickness.

Here is a have a look at all three fascinating potentialities forward of this weekend’s fights.

Edgar Berlanga



Edgar Berlanga lower his streak by a first-round knockout, however obtained an enormous knockout from Damon Nicholson late within the ultimate spherical to safe the win.

the background: Berlanga, 24, from Brooklyn, New York, had a superb beginner background. He was a runner-up on the 2013 USA Junior Olympic Boxing Championships and have become an expert on the age of 18.

That is when he began his KO streak. Berlanga began his profession with 16 consecutive knockouts within the first spherical, which was closely marketed when he signed with High Rank in 2019. This helped him achieve big fame and earned him a big following. That streak was lastly lower in April 2023, when he went in all eight rounds towards Damon Nicholson.

talent set: Berlanga’s power was evident all through the start of his profession. Holds good energy in each fingers, particularly when throwing a left hook or a straight proper hand. It drops 42.8% of its power, in keeping with ESPN Stats & Data, which is 8% above the division’s common.

Nevertheless, Berlanga confirmed some sensitivity in his final combat towards Marcelo Coceres. Coceres knocked out Berlanga for the primary time in his skilled profession. In response to CompuBox, 70 of the entire Coceres 101 punches have been hardshot.

outlook: Berlanga (18-0, 16 KOs) is getting near changing into a real contender within the tremendous middleweight class. His subsequent opponent, Steve Rolls, is the hardest but. Rolls’ solely skilled loss is to Gennady Golovkin, the previous middleweight champion.

what are they saying: “I have been in camp with numerous world championship stage guys. Sadly, numerous them can take turns typically. I can not say that about Edgar in any respect. He is a kind of health club employees. He would not do nook chopping. He is 100% working. I simply respect that a lot about him.” Middleweight Nico Ali Walsh, who sparred with Berlanga to arrange for this combat.

Xander Zias

the background: Zias, 19, of Puerto Rico, began boxing when he was 5 and moved to Florida when he was 11. He was a two-time USA Boxing Champion, and if he had met the age necessities on the time, Zayas would have been a lock to characterize the USA on the 2020 Olympics. As a substitute, Zayas made historical past when he signed with High Rank when he was 16 years outdated He’s the youngest fighter to signal a contract with the promotional firm.

Zias (12-0, 9 KOs) hasn’t let restrictions from COVID-19 stop him from advancing in his profession. The junior middleweight has already fought 12 instances, eight of them coming for the reason that begin of the pandemic.

talent set: Zayas was notably aggressive in comparison with different newbie middleweights. He throws 73.6 punches per spherical, in keeping with CompuBox, a staggering 17 greater than the Division common. These aren’t all comfortable photographs both. It ties in at 43% of its power, and that is wonderful.

However his thoughts is spectacular. Veteran coach Luis Espada, who stars for different Puerto Rican fighters akin to junior flyweight champion Jonathan “Bumba” Gonzalez and light-weight contender Jose Pedraza, stated Zias’ maturity is likely one of the causes he’ll quickly change into a world champion.

outlook: Zias remains to be very early in his profession. His upcoming combat towards Quincy LaVallais is the primary of eight scheduled rounds. In fact, this doesn’t imply that issues will go the gap. 4 of Zias’ earlier 5 matches earlier than the fifth spherical led to suspension. It’ll take a while earlier than Zeas may be thought of a title contender. However up to now, he stored the hype that adopted him from amateurs to execs. ESPN named it the 2023 Title of the Yr.

what are they saying: “He has one thing that can’t be taught or educated. He has such a murderous intuition. [Wilfredo] Gomez did, like Tito [Felix Trinidad] act like [Edwin] Rosario did. Once they damage you, they know what to do and finish the combat.” – Luis Espada, coach for 25 years, through translator.

Kishon Davis

the background: Davis, 23, could be the most intriguing prospect at High Rank’s steady. After coming back from the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Davis was a coveted free agent. He turned professional initially of 2023 and had already wowed on the underside card to combat Canelo Alvarez at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Davis (4-0, 3 KOs), and his brother, Kelvin, signed promotional offers with High Rank. In his first combat of his first decade, Keyshawn simply defeated Jose Zaragoza and took a second-round TKO win over Vasiliy Lomachenko-Richard Commey’s backside card in December 2023.

talent set: It is simple to see why Davis is such a profitable Olympic beginner. He has sturdy velocity, good reflexes and wonderful fundamentals. Final April towards Richman Ashley, Davis lighted a left hook for the physique that ended up stopping Zaragoza later within the yr.

outlook: High Rank has introduced that Davis has been compelled to withdraw from a scheduled match towards Esteban Sanchez on account of a virus unrelated to COVID-19. Nevertheless it’s a slight velocity bump for a fighter trying to speed up his profession. The Davis-Sanchez match was rescheduled for April 30 on the underside card of the Shakur Stevenson-Oscar Valdez light-weight match in Las Vegas.

what are they saying: “Signing Secret’s like signing the primary recruit to D-1 faculty – you recognize sooner or later he’ll play on Sundays. Keyshawn might be a expertise for generations and he’ll be the face of boxing for years to return.” – Carl Moretti, Vice President of Boxing Operations at High Rank.