Edgar Berlanga and Padraig McCrory pose after the final press conference for their February 24, 2024 fight in Orlando, FL. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.
Unbeaten Super-Middleweights clash on Saturday night in Orlando
Eddie Hearn

“Welcome to Orlando ahead of a huge night of boxing at Caribe Royale live on DAZN around the world, top class match-ups from top to bottom, headlined by Edgar Berlanga, looking for a shot at the the World championship, but chasing him is Padraig McCrory, two huge punchers, labeled ‘Shootout’ on Saturday night, and it really will be.

“There are 50-50 matchups across the board, leading off with Yankiel Rivera in a huge step-up against Andy Dominguez in a Puerto Rico vs. Mexico clash, there’s Puerto Rico vs. Puerto Rico as Antonio Vargas takes on Jonathan Rodriguez, who broke our hearts by knocking out Kal Yafai, and the eliminator for the World Welterweight title as Shakhram Giyasov takes on big punching Pablo Cesar Cano. 

“I get told off for shouting my mouth about fighters sometimes but let’s be honest, Andy Cruz is a potential pound-for-pound great. He is one of the greatest amateurs of a generation and he’s moving like a train in the paid ranks, he’s in his third fight but he’s stepped up every time and last time out he demolished Jovanni Straffon to become IBF International Lightweight champion on the Devin Haney-Regis Prograis card. I believe he’s a couple of fights away from challenging for a World title and I would put this man in with any 135lber on the planet right now. But Brayan Zamarripa is so tough, we saw him in an incredible fight in Tijuana with Angel Fierro, a fight that could have gone either way on the cards. He was in tears in the dressing room afterwards and I said we would give him another opportunity, and that opportunity is a huge one but a huge one but a tough one against Andy.

“And our main event, a fantastic fight between two huge punchers in the 168lb division. Padraig is looking to beat Edgar and land a dream shot for the World championship, but Edgar is one of the rising stars in boxing and comes into this having filled up The Theater at Madison Square Garden last time out and looking for his own World title shot. 

“Canelo Alvarez is without an opponent on May 4 currently and we will put Edgar’s name into the hat with an impressive performance on Saturday night, but Padraig has other ideas.”

Edgar Berlanga (21-0 16 KOs) defends his WBO NABO Super-Middleweight title against Padraig McCrory

“We don’t overlook anyone. Padraig is a tough guy, he’s coming from Ireland, he’s undefeated, he’s coming from the bottom just like I am, and we’re ready.

“Every fighter is going to come to try to beat me, and we know that. I know that the competition is getting heavier and tougher, so we’ve prepped very well in this camp. At this level, anything can happen, and we understand that. In the Super-Middleweight division, you can have no power but when you put ten-ounce gloves on, anybody can punch. So, we’ve taken him very seriously and I’m happy that he took the fight. 

“At this time, Saturday is my focus, Padraig McCrory. I don’t give a f**k about Canelo, Munguia, it’s this man across from me that’s trying to take my ‘0’, so I have to put my focus on him and handle my business and then eventually, we can focus on those guys. 

“We come from the slums too, I haven’t had it all nice. When I turned pro, no-one wanted to sign me, my first three fights were in Mexico. He’s Irish, we’re Puerto Rico, we get it popping. It’s statement season. Superstar week, because I have to shine. Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano, they sell out a lot of fights because it’s Puerto Rico vs. the Irish, and I take my hat off to the Irish fighters because they are tough, and they come to fight.”

Padraig McCrory (18-0 9 KOs) challenges Edgar Berlanga for the WBO NABO Super-Middleweight title

“I want to thank you, Matchroom and Mick and Jamie with Conlan Boxing for this massive opportunity. It’s the biggest fight of my career and I have trained like it is. Now it is up to me on Saturday night to put on a show.

“There’s been a lot of work going on for me, I started in 2017, I’m 35 and people are questioning why only 18 fights. But I didn’t fight until I was 29, and then COVID happened. So I have been very busy, I’ve built my career to this point and people believe in me, but the main thing is that I believe in myself and that this is the platform and opportunity that I need.

“He’s a very good fighter. He’s the main event, the star, it’s the Berlanga show and I’m just here to show up, I’m just a guy from West Belfast, no-one expects anything from me. But I think I have got what it takes to win this fight, we’ve trained hard and meticulously gone through tactics so whether it’s Game A, B or C, we’re ready for what he bring.

“He fights the way he fights so if I don’t put in place what we have planned, it’s a very tough fight. I’ve been screaming for this opportunity, Matchroom and DAZN is the biggest platform for me in the sport, and now it’s here I have to show up.”

Andy Cruz (2-0 1 KO) defends his IBF International and WBA Continental Latin-American Lightweight titles.

“I’m always ready. Yes, there is pressure, yes, there are nerves, but I see that as a positive and in fact, when I am feeling that way, I am at my most dangerous. I am prepared for the fight, and it’s one thing to sit here and say you are going to do what you say you will do, as we all have the same objectives, but another thing is doing.

“As a boxer we all have goals. I hear a lot of what is going on around me but I don’t listen to it too much because ultimately, I am the person that has the final word in the ring, so I just want to demonstrate that I do belong at this level and I can go on and face the best. 

“I feel that I really progressing well in this kind of new style of boxing. With every camp I have I progress even more and that’s thanks to my great gym mates and my trainer. You are starting to see a more complete Andy Cruz, a more complete boxer, and on Saturday I am going to demonstrate those qualities and I think you are going to see a mix of Cuban boxing fused with Philadelphia.” 

Brayan Zamarripa (14-2 5 KOs) challenges Andy Cruz for the IBF International and WBA Continental Latin-American titles.

“Thank you for keeping your word, Eddie. As a good Mexican, I come here to leave everything in the ring and that will be no exception. I am coming here to get the victory and to take those belts home. The fight with Fierro is in the past now, I am here to get the win and don’t be surprised to see me take those belts on Saturday night.

“Andy has a lot of experience as an amateur, but I also have that, so I can box off the front foot or the back foot, but one thing that’s for sure is that I am taking home those titles.

“I’m here to take this opportunity, this is my moment, and I won’t let it pass me by. I am ready to face anyone, whether it’s the best Olympian out there or the best fighter, I am ready for the best.”

Shakhram Giyasov (14-0 9 KOs) faces Pablo Cesar Cano in an eliminator for the WBA World Welterweight title

“For me it’s a good fight, a big fight, it’s one step from being in a World title fight. I am ready, but I am always ready because I am born to be here. I love boxing and I want to put on a good show for the fans.

“I know he’s got power, a good punch, but I am faster, I am smarter, and I am ready.”

Pablo Cesar Cano (35-8-1 25 KOs) faces Shakhram Giyasov in an eliminator for the WBA World Welterweight title 

“It’s great to be back on such a big card, it’s almost like the phoenix rising from the flames, I am coming back. This won’t be the exception. I am prepared and ready for the war.

“I always love to go in and trade, to have a war. I think he is exactly the same so I think that this might steal the show on Saturday.”

Antonio Vargas (17-1 9 KOs) faces Jonathan Rodriguez in an eliminator for the WBA World Bantamweight title

“It’s a big opportunity for me and I’m very thankful to be here. I am looking forward to Saturday night and the chance to display my skills. This is my hometown, so I am looking forward to giving the fans a good fight and make sure you get your money’s worth.

“The loss definitely helped me to grow build character and strengthen me, I learnt a lot from it. I corrected a lot of the mistakes from it and it’s just a hunger I have because I know I belong where these top guys are at, I am a top fighter, and I am looking to showcase my skills on Saturday night.”

Jonathan Rodriguez (17-1-1 7 KOs) faces Antonio Vargas in an eliminator for the WBA World Bantamweight title

“This is what it’s all about, taking step-ups to get to where you want to be, which is a World champion. I am one fight away from that, so I am going to do anything and everything I can to come out victorious on Saturday night.

“The Kal Yafai fight made me feel good because it made me feel like I belong where I am at now. I am just going to keep doing what I have to do to keep getting the wins and making statements, and to become a World champion.”

Yankiel Rivera (4-0 2 KOs) faces Andy Dominguez for the WBA and WBC Continental Americas Flyweight titles

“I’ve trained very hard and I’m ready to fight and to win. We’re ready for this, we’ve had a really good camp. We know Andy is a really good fighter, but I love challenges, they are what I live for.”

Andy Dominguez (10-0 5 KOs) faces Yankiel Rivera for the WBA and WBC Continental Americas Flyweight titles

“He’s a good fighter, he’s an Olympian, I’ve had more professional fights than him, so I feel like this is an even fight. It’s Puerto Rico vs. Mexico and you know how that goes, so it’s going to be a good fight.” 
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