‘He may have balls of steel, he may have a great chin… If he has those things he has a massive chance,’ says Eddie Hearn as McCrory plans Berlanga heist

Matchroom boss promises Pody McCrory “massive fight” if he knocks out ‘Chosen One’ in Orlando

Head-to-head: Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn with Edgar Berlanga (left) and Pody McCrory. Picture: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom. (Ed Mulholland/Matchroom./Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.)

PODY McCrory will land “a massive fight” and the huge payday of his dreams if he knocks out Edgar Berlanga in Orlando on Saturday night, promises Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn.

An impressive win for Berlanga could see him go on to a life-changing fight against pound-for-pound king ‘Canelo’ Alvarez on May 4. McCrory won’t get that fight even if he causes a Richter Scale shock, says Hearn, but he will land a showdown with one of the other top dogs in the division – possibly Diego Pacheco in Las Vegas – so the stakes are high for both men.

“Berlanga still has a bit of work to do to land the Canelo fight but if he looks good on Saturday he’s got a chance,” said Hearn.

“Pody is not in the mix for that but he is going to land a massive fight if he knocks out Edgar Berlanga. It will be a huge payday and it will be life-changing. The McCrory team are very confident going into this fight and it’s a great fight between two very good fighters, two huge punchers.

“It’s going to be really exciting. It’s going to be violent, really violent and both guys are going to have to come through fire to win. It’s going to be brutal, backwards and forwards and it might come down to, not just who is better, but who can take the most ‘hammer’.

Edgar Berlanga vs Padraig McCrory First Faceoff February 20, 2024; Orlando, FL; Edgar Berlanga and Padraig McCrory face-off for the first time for their February 24, 2024 fight at Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando, FL. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom. (Ed Mulholland/Matchroom./Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.)

“Padraig has to be able to be ripped to the body – maybe have a couple of ribs broken – and come through the other side. That’s the kind of fight is going to be and the same for Edgar – he might have to climb off the deck early and come back to win it.

“When someone steps up, like Pody is doing for this fight, you never really know how ready they are until it’s time and it’s time on Saturday.

“He may have balls of steel, he may have a great chin… If he has those things he has a massive chance but, if he doesn’t, he’s going to find it tough in there… We’ll find out.”

Sitting either side of Hearn at the press conference, McCrory and Berlanga were totally contrasting figures. Berlanga was dripping with gang-banger ‘bling’ and wearing sunglasses, while McCrory was casually dressed in an Ireland rugby jersey, cargo shorts and trainers.

“I love it,” said Hearn.

“We know what we get from the Belfast lads. They’re very humble and they’re thankful for the opportunity but they believe in themselves and they’re tough, they’re very tough. Edgar respects Pody. He (Berlanga) is flash and he’s a superstar in the making but he also knows this is a real fight.

“When we looked at this fight they (the Berlanga team) knew it was a dangerous fight. McCrory hasn’t got the biggest profile so a lot of people were looking at it going ‘Who’s McCrory? Who is he?’ but people in boxing know this is a real fight.

“Jamie and Michael (Conlan, McCrory’s managers) are going to me: ‘You know Pody’s going to beat him, don’t you?’ And I say: ‘Good luck to him’, it’s a massive chance.”