Boxing


Manny Pacquiao-Edwin Valero - A Lightweight Hagler-Hearns?

06.07.08 - by James Slater: With the Manny Pacquiao-Edwin Valero fight now up on BoxRec as taking place on November 8th (venue still to be announced, but Texas being a frontrunner), we can look forward to a very explosive fight. Everyone knows how hard the unbeaten Valero can hit, and "Pac-Man's" greatness is already beyond doubt. Put these two fighters together - as promoter Bob Arum has - and you have a fight that cannot fail to be exciting..

Indeed, the action could well be short and sweet. Valero, who will be moving up to 135 pounds in November, likes to end fights quickly. While new WBC lightweight champion Pacquiao is also a fierce puncher capable of sending a man crashing in any given round. As such, with their fight being an detonation just waiting to go off as soon as the two men come fact to face, we could be in store for a lightweight version of the legendary fight that is Hagler-Hearns.

Going into that epic three round war in 1985 Tommy Hearns was considered the puncher, and Marvin Hagler was looked at as the hard-headed tough guy who could also punch himself. Valero, like Hearns before him, is considered a huge puncher, but a slightly vulnerable one when it comes to taking a great shot himself (Valero has been down before). While Pacquiao, as with Hagler, is looked at as the more durable and proven fighter at the weight the fight will take place at. For while Hearns had boxed as a middleweight pre-Hagler he was far from a proven force at the weight. The same can be said about the Venezuelan with regards to the lightweight division - even more so as Valero hasn't even had one fight there yet. In this fight, though, both fighter are southpaws - not just the defending champion.

Enough with the parallels; will the action Valero and Pacquiao give us in November match that which the two middleweights gave us back in the mid-1980s? I do see a not altogether different type of fight. Valero only knows one way to fight, and that's aggressively. It's a safe bet that he will come out blazing in an effort to shock Pacquiao at bell one. With almost twenty 1st round KO's to his name, the 26-year-old will see if he can get another one at the expense of "Pac-Man." Pacquiao, too, can start fast, however. As with Hagler when he met Hearns, Manny will reply in kind just as soon as Valero unleashes his firepower. This one could well come down to who takes the better shot, and we all know who that is.

I see Valero coming out raging, possibly having some success - maybe even wobbling Pacquiao - before the defending champion gets his range and blasts his man out of there. It could even be all over in one round. Again, look for something short, sweet and very special in November.

I go for Pacquiao to prevail in a brief and brutal slugfest - one that doesn't figure to go beyond four or five rounds at the most.

Article posted on 06.07.2008



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