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Friday, April 10, 2009

Edwin Valero wants Pacquiao, 'the monster from the Philippines'

Austin, Texas - I was uneasy in my ringside seat last April 4th. This is the main event for "Lightweight Lightning"? And it's on pay-per-view?

Mixed Feelings

It was mixed feelings of being apprehensive; of harboring impatience, anticipation, apathy, and suspicion. Surely, Antonio Pitalua is a seasoned lightweight veteran with a then-46 and 3 record. But Edwin Valero was an unproven commodity. Sure, he possessed 24 KOs in 24 wins. The fact that both fighters were attempting to win the WBC lightweight belt recently vacated by Manny Pacquiao made me tune in.

But to be perfectly honest, as round one and round two ticked by, I tuned in and out. Looking at the fight, and then eyes meandering about the Frank Erwin Center.

A longer fight? No, it was a simple beatdown

I expected a longer fight: Valero's stance showed predictable, forward-marching footwork, stable-non-weaving head, and little use for lateral movement. It was very clear from the get-go that his sole mission was utter knockout, the fastest way toward a route of heavy punches aimed at Pitalua's head. Having witnessed Juan Manuel Marquez on February 28 at ringside in his fight in Houston, I expected Pitalua to sneak in hooks to the body and head as well as consecutive jabs to keep his foe away.

Valero's qualities

What is impressive about Valero is his ability to: (1) be effective from a distance, (2) the intimidation factor to force his opponent to back pedal, (3) his supremely-gifted punches, (4) his ferociousness, and (5) his willingness to throw blinding flurries instead of calculated sniping shots. As we all know, Pitalua was downed early in the second round.

At the post-fight conference, Edwin Valero stated that he wants to challenge Manny Pacquiao, as stated by the interpreter, as "the monster from the Philippines." I was convinced. During the fight, Valero's body language conveyed brute hunger, ambition, and the naked desire to crack skulls. Added Valero, "If Manny Pacquiao or Hatton give me an opportunity, I would consider moving up and fighting them . . . . No man can take my punch."

A long line for Manny Pacquiao

The problem is, there is a long line for the current pound-for-pound king. And he offers the biggest paycheck. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Shane Mosley. Juan Manual Marquez. Juan Diaz. Timothy Bradley. Nate Campbell. Miguel Cotto.

Added Top Rank promoter, "Now, I don't want to give him [Valero] a long layoff. I want him to get back in action real quick. Any lightweight in the world. I'd like him to fight Marquez . . ."

Beat Juan Manuel Marquez first, Mr. Edwin Valero. He is the universally recognized best lightweight in the world.

Conquer your division first. Pound-for-pound recognition won't be too far away from a newly erected kingdom.

Henceforth, the world will be your oyster.

And thus, we have the world's first fight preview for . . .

Juan Manuel Marquez (WBA, WBO, IBO lightweight champion) vs. Edwin Valero (WBC lightweight champion)


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