Undefeated boxer Edgar Berlanga will be fined $10,000 and banned for six months after trying to bite his Alexis Angulo during their recent fight.
Berlanga, 25, continued his unbeaten run by outpointing his Colombian opponent Angulo to pick up the 20th win of his professional career.
The win didn’t come without controversy as the super-middleweight star appeared to dig his teeth into his Angulo during the seventh round when the pair clinched.
The bite was left unpunished, but ESPN has reported that Berlanga will now face punishment in the form of a fine and ban from the New York State Athletic Commission.
Top Rank spokesperson Evan Korn has said that the organisation will accept the ruling.
Berlanga poured the blame onto his opponent for his actions after the final bell, stating: “He kept throwing elbows and, you know, head-butted me and stuff. So, I was telling him like, ‘Yo, chill!’ You know, like I didn’t wanna get cut or anything. But I don’t know – I just got aggressive in there, Mike Tyson style. I got a little carried away.”
His actions mirror those of Tyson’s infamous bite on Evander Holyfield in their 1997 rematch, in which he took a chunk out of his rival’s ear resulting in a disqualification loss.
Berlanga moved his head up Angulo’s neck and could be seen targeting his opponent’s left ear, as the Colombian tried to step back and prevent the incident from occurring, before touching his ear and appealing for the referee to take action.
The unbeaten boxer later issued an apology on social media, writing: “I want to apologise for my actions and what I said yesterday about the Mike Tyson bite. I was in the moment and I got a little ahead of myself.
“It doesn’t take away from the embarrassment that I have caused upon myself, my team, [Top Rank], and many others. I reacted poorly and take full responsibility. Moving forward, I am going to be more mindful and encouraging in my behaviour. Once again, I do apologise.”
Berlanga, who is of Puerto Rican descent, credited his opponent for giving him a tough fight after the win. “I got hit with a couple shots I shouldn’t have got caught with. We weathered the storm and I just kept boxing. I really showed my boxing skills tonight,” he said.
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