He has rake knockouts after knockouts but still Edwin Valero’s career has always ended with a big question mark. He was mainly a youtube sensation after his motorcycle accident that barred him to fight in US soil after a blood clot was found on his head. But last weekend in Monterey Mexico we saw Valero’s acid test against a real threat that could give him a tougher fight than all his 26 knockouts with the exception of Mosquera wherein Valero was down on the 3rd round. Antonio DeMarco wasn’t a patsy or a sparring partner he gave Valero some neat shots with his long jab but abandoned his offense with Valero’s controlled aggression and step back defense. Valero pass the test with flying colors and people are starting to see him as the next Manny Pacquiao. Although that would be one of the nicest compliments given to a boxer but it would be unfair for Valero to be put on added pressure knowing he has to be that good with only his first real boxing exposure. Bob Arum was keen on matching Edwin with one of the top 140lb. fighter Timothy Bradley for his next fight that would be a very exciting fight but I think Valero needs two or more fights before facing an equally dangerous Bradley. Here’s why:
On paper and record
They both have the same reach and height even though Valero (27-0) has more fights compared to Bradley (25-0) you look on the opponents both fighters faced. Valero has DeMarco, former champion Hector Velasquez, the 39 year old Antonio Pitalua and Vicente Mosquera while Bradley has a number of quality opponents starting with undefeated Lamont Peterson, former unified lightweight title holder Nate Campbell, Kendall Holt, Edner Cherry and Junior Witter. If quality is given consideration than quantity then Bradley has won this round.
Both fighters are decorated amateurs with Valero’s 86-6 and Bradley’s 145-20 record. Valero is a good boxer before he fell in love with his KO record but what’s astonishing is how Bradley continues to be undefeated throughout his career with all the quality opponents he has faced. His record says it all with his 25 wins with only 11 wins by knockout. He knows how to win he can box when he needs to and when the knockout is open he easily grabs that opportunity just like on his fight with Junior Witter when he put Witter on the canvass and outworked him throughout the fight escaping a split decision win in Witter’s own turf. Valero recently showed his offensive prowess hitting opponents in weird angles a reminiscent of an old Pacquiao but with good defense but with Valero ending his fight mostly in the first round I would definitely give ring smarts to Bradley.
Will to win
This is an underrated sentence since most boxers or fighters will fight to win. Valero had tasted the canvass once on his career courtesy of Vicente Mosquera but that fight was already a lopsided fight with Mosquera down twice on the first round then Valero controlled the fight until a technical knockout in the 10th round. Bradley took a much difficult route after being down in the first and last round on his unification bout against hard hitting Kendall Holt we all remember Holt’s first round knockout against Ricardo Torres wherein he was down twice but knock Torres out with seconds left in the round. Bradley outboxed and out hustled Holt to salvage a win.
If both fighters meet I’d go for Valero because I always love the “puncher’s chance” one punch can make a difference but as much as I love their matchup there are still meaningful and lesser risks fights available for Valero. He could fight Marquez, Juan Diaz, Michael Katsidis or Joan Guzman. Edwin will just have to be patient and take one boxer at a time the road to the top is not built on bridges and roads after all.