April 24, 2021 – By Ron Harris (Prince George’s Sentinel)
Most elite athletes do not like moral victories. On Saturday night, in Kissimmee, Florida, shown on ESPN, Demond Nicholson, (23-4) from Laurel, Maryland, did something against Edgar Berlanga that no other opponent has done. Demond got out of the first round. Berlanga had knocked out every opponent in the first round of his previous 16 pro fights. He is now 17-0 after winning a unanimous decision over Nicholson. The judges scored the fight 79-68 and 79-69, twice, all for Berlanga, 23.
Berlanga tried his best to keep his first-round knockout streak going, but Nicholson would have none of it. Berlanga landed some hard shots in round one, but Nicholson hung in there. “I gave myself a grade of C,” says Berlanga. “I could have done a lot better. My trainer wanted me to throw more jabs and more right hands. Since I did not follow instructions, I had to do some push-ups after the fight.”
Berlanga knocked Nicholson down 4 times in the 8-round fight. The most devastated punch came in the last few seconds of the last round. Berlanga caught Nicholson with a short, compact right hand that Demond did not see, and he landed flat on his back side. He may not have survived that punch, but the bell sounded that ended the fight.
The fight was never close. Nicholson was game but was in survival mode all the way. His best round was the 7 th, when he rocked Berlanga with a good one-two combination and a hard right hand. “I was glad to get some experience in this fight. I needed to go the 8 rounds and prove I still had power late in the fight,” said Berlanga. “I am only 23 and I am a future champion.” Berlanga is from Puerto Rico, but fights out of Brooklyn, NY. “Puerto Rico was in the house and I wanted to knock him out for my people.”
Nicholson is 28 and showed the boxing world that he is a tough fighter that is worthy of some good fights and possibly a title shot. He had nothing to hang his head over.