For a while, in fact, for quite a while, savage puncher Edwin Valero was on some roll. Going pro in July of 2002, the Venezuelan southpaw proceeded to reel off an amazing 18 straight first-round KO wins. For a while, until he was finally extended in a fight – this in March pf 2006, when Genaro Trazancos managed to see the second-round against “El Inca” – Valero had us wondering if anyone could actually get out of a round against him.
After stopping Trazancos in two, Valero challenged for the WBA 130 pound title. Valero kept his KO run going, but he was extended into the tenth round by Vicente Mosquera, the slugger getting a TKO win. Valera was then an amazing 20-0(20), with all but two of his KO’s coming inside a single round. There was just one more first-round KO to come.
Making the first defence of his title, Valero met Mexico’s Michael Lozado in Tokyo, Japan on January 3rd of 2007. Upon entering the ring with Valero, Lozado had been stopped just once, having been halted by Jose Armando Santa Cruz. Against Valero, Lozado lasted a little over one-minute. Valero was indeed a devastating puncher. Unfortunately, Valero was also a volatile individual, a man who had inner demons and would one day be overcome by them.
After his final win, which came in February of 2010, this a ninth-round corner retirement win over Antonio DeMarco, Valero was jailed for murdering his wife. Whilst in jail, the 28-year-old hanged himself in his cell. The life and career of one of the most exciting, yet unstable, fighters of recent years had come to a brutal and disturbing end.
We will never know how far Valero might have gone, how many more KO’s he would have scored. There was talk of a super fight with Manny Pacquiao – and just imagine how big a sensation Valero would have been had he managed to win that one – but in the end, the constant rage Valero had shown in the ring turned inward and destroyed him.
Today, we have another young fighter who is busy compiling an amazing run of first-round KO wins, in super-middleweight Edgar Berlanga. Let’s all hope Berlanga is similar to Valero in punching ability only. Currently 16-0(16), all one-round wins, fans are wondering if Berlanga can go on to become a world champion the way Valero did.