Since the retirement of Miguel Cotto, the fighting isle of Puerto Rico has been desperately searching for its next boxing hero.

According to one of the nation’s most legendary boxing sons Felix Trinidad, the next star on the horizon should be super-middleweight puncher Edgar Berlanga.

Three-division king Trinidad believes Berlanga (17-0, 16 KOs) will achieve world championship status and perhaps beyond. The heavy-handed Berlanga won his first 16 contests inside a round before a gritty Demond Nicholson rose from the canvas to take him eight rounds in April.

“Edgar is a powerful boxer with a huge heart,” Trinidad told the DAZN Boxing Show. “He’s learning each and every day, and I know soon enough he’s going to be a world champion.

“Edgar Berlanga has a very bright future. He needs to continue training hard, stick with his corner, his father, and he will be world champion very soon.”

Having seen his improbable KO streak broken against Nicholson, WBA No.6 and WBO No.7 ranked 168-pounder Berlanga feels a pressure has been lifted, with his next bout likely to feature as a main event in Kissimmee, Florida in September.

“I was happy because it was over,” the Top Rank-promoted Berlanga told journalist Carlos Gonzalez. “I feel like I proved myself to people, especially those from Puerto Rico and to those who doubted me because they saw something different.

“I hadn’t fought [more than three minutes] in five years, so going to the second and then the third [round] felt weird. Now I know the things that I should work on in the gym. I have to keep practicing to improve and progress. I knew I was winning the fight against Nicholson because he went down to the canvas several times. I wanted to end [a bout] by decision and I did.”

Main image: Mikey Williams/Top Rank.