On This Day: 130 Pound Terror Edwin Valero Wins His First World Title

Fight fans still talk about the raw and incredibly exciting Edwin Valero. The power-puncher who was not just wicked inside the ring, met a brutal end, as did his wife, who the Venezuelan shockingly murdered, then taking his own life when in his jail cell. Valero was pure dirt, no doubt about it, yet as a prizefighter, he was a huge attraction. And plenty of us still think about Valero, and about what might have been.

Valero’s punching power was legendary, with “El Inca” winning all 27 of his pro fights by KO or stoppage. At one point in his career, the lethal southpaw won a staggering 18 straight fights by first-round KO. It was on this day back in 2006 when Valero, aged 24, won his first world title. Going into his challenge of WBA 130 pound champ Vicente Mosquera, Valero was an amazing 19-0(19), with just one of his opponents having heard the bell to end round one. Mosquera was 24-1-1(13) and he was making his second title defence.

Mosquera of Panama City had never been stopped. It turned out to be a great action fight. Valero, absolutely ravenous, came out fast as always, and for a while, it looked as though he might score yet another quick KO win; this one in the champ’s backyard. Valero decked Mosquera twice in the opening round yet he survived to hear the bell. And then Mosquera fought back. Valero had awesome power, but could he take a good shot himself? Valero gave us an answer in round three, as he was decked by Mosquera. Valero got back up and the battle raged on.

Valero showed us all he had stamina as well as the ability to come back from a knockdown. Comfortably ahead on all three cards, Valero finally took Mosquera out in the 10th round, this the longest he had ever had to go in a fight by far. Valero was now a world champion and he got busy defending his belt; Valero making three retentions in 2007 and one in 2008. Valero then moved up and won the WBC lightweight title. After just two retentions at 135, Valero was dead, his capacity for extreme violence having turned on him.

Valero had been somewhat close to a super-fight with Manny Pacquiao. We can only dream of how that fight might have gone. Mosquera fought on until 2013 but he never again challenged for a world title. Mosquera retired with a fine, 33-3-1(18) record. No one other than Valero ever stopped him.