Berlanga targets Alvarez after KO win over McCrory

Super-middleweight contender Edgar Berlanga is targeting a fight with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez after a sixth-round knockout win over Padraig McCrory.

The American, 26, sent Belfast man McCrory to the canvas with a right overhand punch with 25 seconds left of the sixth round in Orlando.

McCrory, who was unbeaten going into the contest, started brightly before Berlanga pressed on.

“I want him now,” Berlanga said of Alvarez after the fight.

“Look at Eddie (Hearn) right there. He’s going to make it happen.”

The talk before the super-middleweight fight in Florida had been about a potential meeting with the Mexican superstar in May after promoter Hearn suggested the winner would secure that bout.

Given Alvarez’s status as one of the stars of world boxing, it was a lucrative prize on offer, and McCrory, 35, made his intentions clear in a solid opening round.

Berlanga found his range and rhythm in the second round, and started to establish some ring control, landing left hooks.

That seemingly sparked life into both men as they showed each other their power in an exciting third round, in which Berlanga was warned for use of the elbow and McCrory responded to some right hooks with his own work. But Berlanga took control in the following round with a left hook that left McCrory with no doubt of the American’s punch power.

The Belfast man offered some resistance in an attempt to keep his opponent at bay until two devastating right hands landed cleanly on McCrory, sending him to the floor.

Although he looked to beat the count, the referee stopped the fight just as McCrory’s corner threw in the towel.