• Harry Twort

The Mysterious Fighter Who Was Destined For Greatness: The story of Edwin Valero

Born and raised in the rough and gritty streets of Mérida, Venezuela on 3rd, December 1981, Edwin “Dinamita” Valero found boxing at the age of 12 to help burn off his anger and aggression inside the ring rather than on the streets as it had been rumoured that Valero was a part of a gang and was involved with various different crimes, such as street fights and robbing. From a young age his skills and abilities had experts tipping him to have a huge and successful future in the sport of boxing, as he became Venezuelan national amateur champion three years on the trot and the 2000 Central American and Caribbean Featherweight champion becoming victorious over Mexican Olympian Francisco Bojado. It was clear to see Valero had amazing amateur pedigree as he racked up 86 wins with 45 of his wins coming by way of knockout which was frightening as he fought at Featherweight where power is pretty much unheard of. It was believed he also knocked out men in these bouts that had never hit the canvas before.

Then all of a sudden, things looked to deteriorate as on February 5th, 2001 Edwin (now 19) was involved in a life-threatening motorbike accident. This caused him to suffer a cerebral haemorrhage and a fractured skull which made it very difficult for Valero to kick start his professional career as his injuries made it very hard for governing bodies to sanction his fights. However Valero claimed his doctor gave him the all clear to fight and roughly a year later Edwin turned pro and started off his career with a first round knockout over Eduardo Hernandez on July 9th, 2002.

The Venezuelan’s name started to get recognition in the boxing world and as a result of this Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions signed Valero after his third bout against Tomas Zambrano in California, which resulted in yet another first round knockout. However, the accident would have long term effects on his boxing career as in 2004 Golden Boy tried to put Valero on one of their cards in New York but was declined a licence after an MRI scan showed a small blood clot on the brain of Edwin’s. Evidently the New York State Athletic Commission put Valero on the indefinite suspension list for his own safety.

After some time out of the ring, Valero made his return and fought in various different countries before winning the WBA Fedelatin Super Featherweight Championship with another first round KO over Whyber Garcia. In August 2006 Valero had his first crack at world glory as he defeated Vicente Mosquera to win the WBA Super Featherweight Title over in Panama. Valero had Mosquera down twice in the first round but in Round 3 the tables turned as Valero tasted the canvas for the first time in his pro career. However, Edwin battled on to earn a hard fought 10th round stoppage.

In late 2008, Valero then made the decision to move up to lightweight and on April 4th 2009 knocked out Antonio Pitalua inside two rounds to win the vacant WBC Lightweight Title over in Texas. A month later Valero was charged with drink driving offences preventing him from appearing on the undercard of Top Rank’s Miguel Cotto Vs Manny Pacquiao because of a denial of a U.S visa.

On February 5th 2010 the Venezuelan unknowingly stepped into the ring for the very last time, making his second defence of his WBC Lightweight crown against Mexican Antonio DeMarco. In the second round an accidental 2nd round elbow inflicted a gash to the head of Valero’s which quickly streamed with blood. However, the blood clearly helped Valero as it fired him up, as he quickly took over the fight and eventually forced DeMarco to retire on his stool.

Then tragedy struck. On April 18th, 2010, Edwin Valero was arrested after he confessed the morning after to a security guard to killing his wife in their hotel room in Valencia, Venezuela after she was found. His wife had been savagely stabbed three times. Then on April 19th, 2010, Valero was discovered by a cell mate to be hanging. He used his trousers to hang himself from a bar in his cell. It was believed he was still showing signs of life when he was brought down from the bar, but it was sadly to late, as at approximately 1:30 am Edwin Valero died just aged 28. Edwin Valero finished his career with a record of 27-0 with 27 KO’s.

You have to wonder what could have been for Valero if he could have controlled his anger. Could he have been the man to beat Floyd Maywhether? Sadly we will never know.