Edgar Berlanga survives stiff test against Marcelo Coceres

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Edgar Berlanga maintained his perfect record with an imperfect performance.

The slugger from Brooklyn survived a knockdown and a spirited effort from veteran Marcelo Coceres to earn a unanimous-decision victory in a 10-round super middleweight bout on the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder card Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

All three judges had the same score, 96-93, seven rounds to three.

Berlanga (18-0, 16 KOs) controlled the fight in the early rounds. He didn’t land the bombs we’ve come to expect from him but he found a home for his jab and outworked Coceres (30-3-1, 16 KOs), who was content to dance around the ring.

However, by Round 4, the Argentine began to plant his feet and land some meaningful punches to turn what had been a one-sided fight into a competitive one in which several rounds were difficult to score.

Coceres, his right swollen shut, had his best moment in the final seconds of Round 9, when he landed a counter right to the side of the head that put Berlanga onto the canvas for the first time in his career.

The 24-year-old pounded his chest as he lay on his back, his way of indicating that he wasn’t hurt. However, he had taken a big blow. Coceres followed with a flurry of hard shots but Berlanga survived until the end of the round.

Berlanga was fine by the start of Round 10, in which he seemed to outwork Coceres.

Berlanga had started his career with 16 consecutive knockouts. He has now gone the distance in two straight fights against higher-level opposition.

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