Boxing


Forget Mayweather. How about Valero?

by Robert Cookson - Edwin Valero did it again, knocking out his 27th consecutive opponent and defending his WBC lightweight title for the second time. It was an impressive performance from the Venezuelan who impressed me with his previously underemployed boxing abilities.

The opponent was a good, solid and tough Antonio DeMarco, who was mercifully rescued by his corner after a systematic nine-round beating. While watching the fight, I couldnít help be reminded of the Manny Pacquiao of old.. The Pacquiao of a few years ago who was busy and aggressive but some distance from the technically proficient fighter we watch now.

Valero has some of the same traits. He uses his right, from the southpaw stance, mainly as a range finder and is constantly looking to unload his big left.

Pacquiao is, and was, faster but Valero seems to have a more solid look to him. He makes plenty of mistakes, leaving his hands low as he steps into punching range and his lack of head movement are two that might be his undoing, but he does quite a few things well. Valero manages to pressure opponents without throwing punches, through his foot movement and the ever-present threat his power provides. He is also able to step off to the sides and get himself out of the way of trouble quickly. Admittedly, with the latter, he does this through going straight backwards at times but he moves quicker than expected.

There are reports Valero wants to move to 140 pounds, possibly to take on Juan Diaz. Leaving that possible mismatch against a blown-up lightweight, the excitement Valero could bring with him could be immense.

Valero has some problems when it comes to big fights. Chiefly among them is his failure of an MRI scan due to an injury sustained in a motorcycle accident. This has resulted in him being unable to fight in many places across America which has hurt his exposure and, consequently, his value to potential opponents.

However, he has been cleared to box in Texas, a state which hosts Manny Pacquiao - Joshua Clottey in just over a months time.

If Valero can have a fight or two at Light Welterweight and keep his winning streak (maybe even his knockout streak) going then I would like nothing more than to see Pacquiao take on this man as soon as possible.

A match between these two punchers could surely only generate excitement. If it was marketed well it could capture the publicís imagination and become a real monster hit.

Think about the kind of fight it would be, two punchers, fighters, warriors, meeting head-on in the ring, it must surely be a candidate for fight of any year it happens.

Everyoneís disappointed Pacquiao - Mayweather fell through, and itís a shame it didnít happen, but, in all honesty, if Floyd won itíd be against yet another fighter whoís seen as the smaller man. If Pacquiao won itíd cement his place as won of the best of his, or maybe even any other, generation. But, lets be honest, if he is one of the best he should be able to get around Valero too...

A side note about the Mayweather - Mosley fight. While this is clearly a very good fight, and one Iím looking forward to seeing, isnít it just another case of Floyd fighting another fighter who, if he wins, the critics can say he was over-the-hill?

Mosley looked great against a come forward, easy to hit, unloaded Margarito but it mustnít be forgotten how bad he looked in his fight previous against Mayorga.

Just a thought.

Article posted on 09.02.2010



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