All agression, all power, all knockouts. Edwin Valero, a raging machine of a fighter, a man destined for tragedy. Valero, a southpaw whirlwind out of Venezuela, lit up the lower weight divisions in a pretty big way. Capturing world titles at two weights, super-featherweight and lightweight, “El Inca/Dinamita” had 27 pro fights in all and not a single one of them went the distance.
In fact, in winning his fights, Valero scored an astonishing 19 first-round KO’s, with just five of his wins coming after the sixth-round. In his very last ring appearance, which took place on this day a full decade ago, Valero administered a relentless beating to Antonio DeMarco in Mexico, DeMarco being pounded until deciding to remain on his stool after nine rough and tough rounds.
Mentally unstable, and unable to box in America due to the injuries he suffered in a 2001 motorbike crash, with Valero suffering a fractured skull, the 28 year old was convicted of assaulting his wife in March of 2010. Sent to a psychiatric hospital for six months of rehabilitation, Valero was then jailed when the body of his wife was found that April. She had been brutally stabbed three times. Jailed for murder, Valero would soon take his own life, hanging himself in his prison cell on April 19th.
And the Valero story came to its ugly end. Only it didn’t. Fans still wonder how much further a sane Valero might have gone. A super-fight with Manny Pacquiao had been discussed, while fans wanted to see how longer Valero coud keep his amazing KO streak going. Of course, all of this comes second to the thoughts we should have for Valero’s poor wife and the evil fate she herself suffered.
But from a boxing standpoint, Valero was special. For a while.
So was Valero a great fighter, or did he at least have greatness in his sights? Or was Valero merely a crude puncher who never defeated a truly elite fighter? Vicente Mosquera, Antonio Pitalua, Hector Velazquez and DeMarco were all good fighters, but none of them could be described as elite.
But that possible fight with Pacquiao, now, if Valero had won that one. We’ll never know. Maybe you no longer care about Valero. I sure can’t blame you. Still, there is a mystique attached to the huge, huge punchers of this sport, and Valero could certainly do that.