By Sunday afternoon, Edgar Berlanga clearly realized that his attempt to bite Alexis Angulo in their fight the previous night was a more serious infraction than he seemed to recognize in its immediate aftermath.
Berlanga took to Twitter to apologize and admitted his actions in the seventh round against Angulo were an embarrassment to him, his team, his promoter and others. The unbeaten Brooklyn native also acknowledged that his flippant references to Mike Tyson absurdly biting Evander Holyfield’s ears in their heavyweight championship rematch nearly 25 years ago only made matters worse.
“I want to apologize for my actions and what I said yesterday about the Mike Tyson bite,” Berlanga wrote in one of two Tweets released Sunday afternoon. “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.”
While in a clinch with Angulo early in the seventh round, Berlanga attempted to bite his opponent’s left shoulder. He then moved his mouth toward Angulo’s neck, but Berlanga didn’t actually bite Angulo the way a frustrated Tyson chomped on Holyfield’s right and left ears in an infamous incident that got Tyson disqualified in June 1997.
Berlanga’s bite attempt wasn’t even acknowledged by referee Ricky Gonzalez because Gonzalez didn’t see it happen. Gonzalez was trying to separate the super middleweights on the opposite side from where Berlanga demonstratively moved his mouth onto Angulo’s left shoulder.
Gonzalez warned Angulo after separating them because Angulo had hit Berlanga while Gonzalez called for a break. Angulo pulled away as Berlanga tried to bite him and raised his arms in Gonzalez’s direction to point out what had happened.
Through frustrated by Angulo’s rough tactics, Berlanga deemed his response unacceptable in his initial Tweet on Sunday afternoon.
“I reacted poorly and take full responsibility,” Berlanga wrote. “Moving forward, I am going to be more mindful and encouraging in my behavior. Once again, I do apologize.”
Berlanga (20-0, 16 KOs) didn’t apologize after he defeated Colombia’s Angulo (27-3, 23 KOs) by unanimous decision in a 10-round main event ESPN aired from Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York.
“He kept throwing elbows and, you know, head-butted me and stuff,” Berlanga told a group of reporters at ringside. “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. You know? I got a little carried away.”
Berlanga could be fined and/or suspended by the New York State Athletic Commission for his flagrant disregard for the rules.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.