Irish fans bring the noise as tension cranks up between Padraig McCrory and Edgar Berlanga

Unbeaten super-middleweight duo hit the scales ahead of Caribe Royale showdown

Pody McCrory and Edgar Berlanga clash in Orlando on Saturday night. Picture: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom. (Ed Mulholland/Matchroom./Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.)

THE simmering tension between Padraig McCrory and Edgar Berlanga began to come to the boil at a tense weigh-in at the Caribe Royale Resort.

Both fighters weighed in at 167.8lbs for their super-middleweight showdown on Saturday night when they met for the final time before their battle for the WBO NABA Super-middleweight title begins for real.

McCrory fans in Celtic, Ireland and Antrim jerseys mingled with Berlanga’s vocal Latino supporters as MC David Diamante introduced McCrory first at the ‘ceremonial weigh-in’.

To a background of cheers from his travelling support, McCrory hit the scales first and, after Berlanga had done the same, the unbeaten duo met on the centre of the dais for a prolonged face-off which went on until the Belfast man, smiled and broke away.

“I’m younger, I’m stronger,” boasted Berlanga afterwards and a knockout win for him could see him face ‘Canelo’ Alvarez on May 4.

The Puerto Rican is the bookies’ favourite but the confidence in the McCrory camp remains rock-solid.

Michael Conlan, a veteran of two world title fights, was watching on. He feels McCrory is primed to shake up the super-middleweight division.

“I’m excited,” he said.

“I watched Pody there and how relaxed he was on the stage and the little glint in his eye when he looked up and saw his family upstairs. There’s a great night ahead and it’s a fight that is definitely winnable.

“It’s a big test, no doubt, he’s up against it and up against the crowd but I think something special is brewing and it’ll be one of the biggest wins for an Irish boxer on foreign soil.”