Valero vs. Pitalua: Don’t Blink
By Ted Sares - Antonio Pitalua, a Colombian who lives in and does his fighting out of Mexico City has a record of 46 (KO 40)-3 and an eye-popping KO percentage of 81.63. Twenty-nine of his stoppage wins have come in three rounds or less and he has stopped his last fourteen opponents in a row including the highly regarded Jose Armando Santa Cruz in September (winning the interim version of the WBC lightweight title). He is long in the tooth at 38 but he has only been stopped once (in 1995) and his body is in great shape.
Article posted on 03.04.2009
He won his first thirteen fights by stoppage before losing to Jesus “Kiri” Rodriguez in Ciudad Obregon in 1995. He then won another sixteen in a row before losing to undefeated Artur Grigorian in a bid for the WBO Lightweight title in Germany in 2000. After dropping a SD to Arnulfo Castillo (33-1-3 coming in) the following year, he reeled of off fourteen in a row. Make no mistake, Pitalua can rumble..
He is now scheduled to fight Edwin Valero for the WBC lightweight championship in a PPV extravaganza in San Antonio on April 4 in a bout that could equal the Meza-Garza classic for sudden fury and unmitigated action.
The record of the much hyped Edwin “Dinamita” Valero has been well documented. He is a Venezuelan, but like the Columbian-born Pitalua, does much of his fighting out of another country--in his case Japan. His KO percentage is an astounding 100 having stopped all 24 of his opponents, some 19 in the first round. But like Pitalua, his level of opposition has not been the best. More importantly, he has only fought 49 rounds or an average of 2.04 per fight. Against a veteran like Antonio (who has 221 rounds under his belt), this could prove troublesome, but it‘s unlikely this fight will go into the later rounds..
Both fighters have been decked in their career. Valero was dropped in the third round against Panamanian Vicente “El Loco” Mosquera before stopping Mosquera in the tenth round in a savage 2006 brawl.
Valero’s wide punches also leave him open to short counters and straight punches. If the Columbia bomber can get between Dinamita’s looping shots, he has a chance to take him out in the manner that Juan Manuel "Juanma" López did with Daniel Ponce de leon at just 2 minutes and 25 seconds of the first stanza in their fight in 2008. Pitalua may also have studied films of Valero’s fight against Genaro Trazancos (in 2006) where many of his shortcomings were in evidence even though he won in two rounds.
The Stage is Set
Here we go: a 38 year old veteran with very heavy hands coming off a stunning KO victory over Santa Cruz vs. another heavy handed world champion who has yet to taste defeat; a fight that features two lightweight bombers who throw bricks and can end a bout at any instance, usually early. So don’t blink or take your eyes off the TV screen, because if you do, you may well miss the ending. Neither fighter will add many rounds to his record in this one; bet on it!
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