Edwin Valero, Unlike Manny Pacquiao - He's Boxing's Unknown Superstar
By Bob Carroll (Feb 7, 2010) Doghouse Boxing  
Saturday night in Monterey Mexico, WBC lightweight champion Edwin Valero, 27-0 (27), defended his title against the “interim” title holder Antonio DeMarco, 23-2-1 (17) by corner retirement after round nine. Valero, who seemed to want to punish the man who was granted an interim status for no apparent reason except that the WBC wanted to bill this fight as one for dominance of their belt, stalked a very overmatched DeMarco, throwing power punch after power punch. Even the Showtime announcers were wondering how much punishment DeMarco would be able to continue to sustain. Finally, and possibly a bit late, DeMarco’s corner decided to save their fighter from being beaten senseless after a very strong couple of rounds by Edwin Valero. With this win, Valero stands as the lone WBC lightweight champion, but will this fact alone make him a household name in the US? His impressive record and 100% KO ratio have not done so to the mainstream boxing community thus far, but he is a superstar in the eyes of the hardcore boxing fans and more so in the South American boxing community.

Anyone who knows me, has followed my writing career or listens to my Fightin’ Words Radio Show, knows that I am a huge mark for Manny Pacquiao. For me, Manny’s speed and surprising power mesmerizes me to the point that Manny has pulled into second place in my sports legends rankings. Manny is in second, albeit a distant second to my all time number one ranked sports legend(and the only person I consider a sports hero for all he went through because of his color) Hank Aaron. Why am I bringing up the name of Manny Pacquiao in an article about Edwin Valero? Mainly because Valero has been compared to Pacquiao in every fight since he won the WBA Super Featherweight title in 2006 over Vicente Mosquera, and rightfully so at this point. Valero has taken on every tough opponent in his way to the titles, knocking each of them out with ease. His build and demeanor are of the same as Pacquiao and at this point, the buzz on Valero is comparable to the press Pacquiao had received as a young champion. At the 27 fight mark for Pacquiao, he owned a 26-1 record, 17 by KO, had been KO’d himself and had yet to fight in the United States, let alone for a world title. But the Pacman buzz was present in the states. Edwin Valero has now won his second WORLD title, knocking out ALL comers, and never once being in any sort of trouble. So why no buzz?

The answer may lie in the Pacman craze we have today, and I am just as guilty as the next Pacamanic for this problem. Manny Pacquiao has laid the groundwork of longevity being the way to superstardom in the lower weight classes. Pacman worked his way up from flyweight to welterweight, winning championships in each of these divisions. Valero, although a flashier and seemingly more powerful puncher at this point of his career, has a bit of a way to go in the eyes of a US boxing public that has eaten up Pacquiao’s hype. Valero has fought tough opponents in his division, but has only 4 fights total in the US and has only been on American TV for the past two years. These two facts alone could answer why a fighter of Valero’s caliber has not become a sensation on the level of Pacquiao, or even guys in his own division like Juan Manuel Marquez, David Diaz and Anthony Peterson. Boxing fans like myself, and probably the fans taking time to read this article, have already bought into the fact that Valero has arrived as a name to be reckoned with in boxing, and probably a superstar in some of our eyes, but mainstream boxing fans have yet to be exposed. This really makes Valero the biggest superstar that boxing has not yet become to know.

On Saturday night, 2010 started off with a bang for Edwin Valero, and I am confident that it will continue to be a great year for the young Nicaraguan. He has what it takes to burst onto the main stage of the US boxing scene; excitement, power and a humbling presence. Hopefully he can continue to build a following through his contract with Shotime boxing and become the superstar that hardcore fans know him as today.

For more on Edwin Valero, listen to Fightin’ Words Radio Show with Bob Carroll, Butch and “THE” Big Dog Benny Henderson Jr. Fightin Words is live on Saturday night, 6-7 pm on blog talk radio. The shows home page is http://www.blogtalkradio.com/fightinwordsradio.

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