Boxing


Yet more tragedy for boxing...Edwin Valero

by Jack Herbert - Last night in Valencia, Venezuelan fighter Edwin Valero was arrested on suspicion of killing his wife Jennifer in the hotel room they were staying in. After stabbing her three times he walked downstairs into the lobby and admitted to the crime to security guards. Then comes more shocking news, whilst being held in his jail cell Valero hung himself, tying his clothes round the bars of the cell.

The news is already starting to reverberate around the world, with many in shock. Valero has had a history of violence, threatening doctors who tried to quiz his wife after she was admitted to hospital with four broken ribs and a punctured lung from an apparent "fall".. He had a restraining order against him, barring him from going anywhere near his wife, which he frequently ignored.

In 2001, Edwin was in a serious motorcycle accident in which he wasnt wearing a helmet. He needed brain surgery and a blood clot removed. After that he was denied a licence to box in the U.S.A as there were irregularities with his brain scan. Such injuries have been known to cause dramatic personality changes along with mental instability if medication is not properly taken. In 2008 he was granted a Licence to box in Texas, winning the WBC Lightweight Championship With a second round stoppage of Antonia Pitulua. Valero had notched up 27 ko's in his 27 professional bouts, he was destined for bigger and better things, signed up with golden boy promotions the biggest promotional company in the world he had the perfect backers to keep on track for what was looking like a showdown with Manny Pacquaio in the near future.

Boxing pundits wondered who was going to stop this machine of a fighter dubbed "el terminator" who smashed through opponent one after the other in dominating fashion, but in the end it wasn't a big right hand that stopped Edwin in his tracks, It was himself, his mental state proving a far more formidable opponent than any he faced in the ring. This was all his own doing, and the things he did are unforgivable, but the man must have been in a seriously bad place to do these things. To murder your wife in cold blood, then walk down to reception to admit it is messed up, the guy's personality must have being all over the place, bordering on schizophrenia.

Another passing of a boxing great to follow Arturo Gatti, who hanged himself in his hotel room in Brazil. Alexis Arguello who was found dead in his home, and Vernon Forrest the first man to defeat Shane Mosley, was shot and killed in Atlanta in a robbery.

I wonder why it is that many boxers lives seem to unravel outside the ring. Is it there up bringing?, many boxers come from under privileged areas and as soon as they make their money they spend it, they all seem to have huge groups of leeches who are constantly feeding off them (Manny Pacquaio is a prime example having a posse of 25 or more who rub his feet, cook his food and basically Leech off the champ). Then when they hit 35 and their reflexes start to go, and the money stops flooding in they have nowhere to go. The group of leeches are gone, the government are hunting them down for taxes, the walls cave in on top of them.

The great Mike Tyson who made staggering amounts of money, blew his whole fortune, and is resigned to doing appearence's on the Italian version of strictly come dancing, and stupid roles in movies (The Hangover) to keep his bank acount ticking over. It's a sad state of affair's for one of greatest heavyweight's to ever put on the gloves to be in.

But it is the reality for many fighters out there, when they can't make money with their fists any longer the only road most can see is alcohol and drugs, which often leads to violence, and in the case of Edwin Valero and Arturo Gatti brings on tragic circumstances for themselves and those around them.

Article posted on 19.04.2010



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