Is Valero the next P4P? Whatís next for DeMarco?

ValeroBy Paul Strauss: Edwin El Inca Dinamita Valero came very close to ruining his string of victories and stoppages when he suffered a horrendous cut to his forehead in the second round of his fight with Antonio DeMarco. The cut came from a freakishly sharp (accidental) left elbow. The cut was so nasty that it seemed an almost certainty the fight would be stopped. The good thing for Valero was the location of the cut, which was high up and to the right side of the forehead. As a result, most of the blood stayed out of the right eye.

However, Valero also suffered a bad cut to the right eyelid, but his corner did a great job keeping the bleeding under control. However, initially the right side of Valeroís face was a crimson mask, but it didnít keep the Venezuelan knockout artist from attacking.

Credit should be given to DeMarco as well. He weathered a tremendous attack throughout the fight, and seemed to maintain his poise and confidence right up until the end.. He wasnít just surviving either. He landed very good counter right jabs and hooks, along with powerful straight lefts. However, like most of Valeroís opponents, he paid the price for doing so. Valero would eat a good shot and retaliate with blinding speed and punishing power. DeMarco kept his stoic look, but it was obvious no one could withstand the onslaught for very long. DeMarco managed to do so longer than most.

Saturday night was unusual for several reasons. First, it was Valeroís first big exposure in the USA, and he undoubtedly added a goodly number to his fan base. It was also the first time in several years that Showtime televised a fight card from Mexico. Right from the beginning Valero looked like an enraged predator. His mouth was open, but not because he needed more oxygen; rather, it seemed to enable him to snarl and growl. Often his hands were low, inviting punches, which when thrown also created the openings he wanted. Many times he would slip punches, or take a quick half step back and then pounce like a leopard and fire off rapid fire shots that landed with thudding power. He demonstrated the unusual ability to not only double up on his shots, but to triple up and more with the same hand. Often it would be with his powerful left. Many times DeMarco would manage to avoid the first one or even two, but not the rest of the battery.

There were comparisons between Valero and Pacquiao even before Saturday night, and his impressive win over DeMarco added to the mystique. But, does he really have a chance to usurp that P4P title from the PacMan? His record alone lends credence to the argument, but has he really demonstrated his greatness against the best opposition? He certainly has done everything asked of him, and seems eager to fight anyone out there to prove his worthiness, but even his most ardent fans would have to agree that he isnít yet capable of doing the things the PacMan can do. If they were matched right now, there is no doubt PacMan would beat Valero. First of all, PacMan is physically bigger. He also possesses everything Valeron has plus a lot more. He has equal or greater speed and power. In the recent past year or so the PacMan has become a much smarter fighter as well. His defense his better, and he employs better use of all the punches and angles, and always with tremendous power. He is extremely accurate, and no one in the fight game can equal him with the ability to unleash multiple punch combinations from one point and finish them from another. His side to side movement is much better than Valeroís. He also keeps him hands up more now, even though he too can slip and duck punches. He does all of that while landing counters loaded with knockout power.

Valero, on the other hand, is more of a straight-up fighter, who jumps straight in face first. His multiple punch combinations also lack the variety of PacManís, and although powerful, he doesnít seem to have the one punch kayo power exhibited by the PacMan. In addition, as proven Saturday night, he is vulnerable to damage from head butts. Granted, he doesnít seemed deterred by the possibility or actual damage done to himself, but itís not the smartest way to attack. PacMan used to suffer from the same fate, but has since become wiser and more elusive.

Valero backers will agree that he gets hit too much, but they will quickly add that it just doesnít seem to matter. In fact, it might act as a stimulant, making him mad and causing him to attack with even more ferocity. Heís a lot like Pacquiao in that regard,. When the PacMac gets tagged he takes a quick step back, taps his gloves together and makes a gesture to his opponent like, ďOkay, letís get it on!Ē Itís a little different with Valero, though. He seems to accept it as normal, and doesnít appear concerned at all, because he has that supreme confidence in his ability and knows he will eventually overpower his adversary. PacMan is also confident, but seems to be saying, letís see if you can do that again!

So whatís next for the little kayo artist and DeMarco, his worthy adversary? DeMarco wanted to fight on, but was overruled by his wise and concerned corner? Both fighters have many options. Even in defeat, DeMarco presented himself very well. The shots he landed on Valero would have discouraged just about anyone but Valero. DeMarco can still be a force in the division, and will undoubtedly continue to get better. There really arenít any sure fire bets in the division that could beat him. His good size and technically sound style will enable him to do well against any in the top ten. That might not have been true if his corner allowed him to continue to take punishment Saturday night.

Of course the same is true for Valero, But unlike the PacMan, itís doubtful he could carry his power and speed up in weight. The junior welters are loaded with good fighters, who have speed and power, and if they had landed with the same frequency that DeMarco managed against Valero, itís doubtful El Inca Dinamita could have taken them as well. He might have to languish where heís at for a while, which isnĎt so bad. After all, he still has Marquez, Soto and Peterson to name a few. And, how would you like to see him battle Katsidis? He probably would win, but wouldnít is make for an exciting fight?

Valero might even coax a big name up from the lighter weight division for a big payday. But, he should stay in his present weight class. In fact, it might be more plausible for DeMarco to eventually move up in weight class. He has the height, reach and technically sound style to do so. So, for the near future, the PacMan will remain the best P4P. His big fights this year could change that, but letís hope not, as he has carried the title well and given fans much excitement in doing so.

DeMarco will fully recover from his loss and get better in doing so. He will come back stronger and smarter, and more confident in his abilities. He is young and hasnít suffered any major damage yet in his career. Look for him to be a force for some time to come, and once again will be a favorite to win a title before he is done.

Article posted on 09.02.2010

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