American boxer Edgar Berlanga has apologised for his ‘Mike Tyson bite” in a moment that left commentators and the boxing world aghast.
Berlanga defeated Alexis Angulo by unanimous decision in a super middleweight bout at Madison Square Garden, but instead of sending the fans home in awe of his boxing skills on a stacked card on Puerto Rican Day in the US, most who witnessed the bout walked away wondering how the officials allowed him to win the fight.
In the seventh round, Berlanga, 25, appeared to attempt to bite Angulo a couple of times – once on the shoulder, and then again on the ear. Unperturbed by his actions, the Brooklyn-based fighter seemed unashamed about the incident after the fight.
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“He was throwing elbows. I was about to do a Mike Tyson on him,” Berlanga said during his post-fight interview on ESPN. “He kept throwing his elbows and pushing it out. I didn’t want to get cut.”
While Berlanga didn’t take a chunk out of Angulo’s ear – like Tyson did to Evander Holyfield’s right ear during their 1997 heavyweight title bout – things could have gone differently if his opponent didn’t move away quickly.
Furthermore, Berlanga was lucky he walked out of the ring a winner rather than copping a disqualification from the referee, who was in close proximity to the incident when it occurred.
Berlanga didn’t seem to grasp the gravity of the moment in the aftermath of the fight, but he swiftly issued an apology the day after.
“I want to apologise for my actions and what I said yesterday about the Mike Tyson bite. I was in the moment and got a little ahead of myself. It doesn’t take away from the embarrassment that I have caused upon myself, my team, top ranks, and many others,” he wrote in a tweet.
“I reacted poorly and take full responsibility,” he added. “Moving forward, I am going to be more mindful and encouraging in my behaviour. Once again, I do apologise.”
Undefeated welterweight champion Terrence Crawford reacted, tweeting “Lol he tried to bite him,” with three laughing emojis, while boxing writers also highlighted how lucky Berlanga was to be awarded the victory.
The win was Berlanga’s fourth straight by unanimous decision after he had 16 straight first-round knockouts to start his career.
Angulo, 38, had twice fought for the super middleweight title, losing to David Benavidez by unanimous decision in 2020 and to Gilberto Ramirez in 2018.
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