Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Arum was planning on matching Pacquiao vs. Valero

Top Rank promoter 78-year-old Bob Arum was planning on putting unbeaten Edwin Valero (27-0, 27 KO’s) against his number #1 fighter Manny Pacquiao for a big money fight within a couple of bouts. All of that will never happen now that Valero has committed suicide while in jail in Venezuela. We’ll never know what Valero could have done with his boxing career. In an article at Reuters, Arum said “I was grooming him [Valero] as a future opponent for Manny Pacquiao. That would have been a sensational fight.”

Arum was right about that. Valero was very special and could have been a great one had he lived. Valero was in jail for killing his wife on Sunday. And then today, Monday, Valero was found hanging in his jail cell. The jailers had taken his shoelaces and shirt as a suicide precaution, but had failed to take his trousers, which is what Valero used to hang himself on the bars of the cell. This is all pretty tragic and it’s something that hopefully people can learn from.

Valero reportedly had an alcohol problem before his death, and this would have had to have been treated for him to have taken on a top fighter like Pacquiao. But it’s interesting to speculate what would have happened if Valero and Pacquiao had met in the ring. Both Pacquiao and Valero would have been the same height at 5’6”, but unless Pacquiao came down in weight from 147, Valero would have been at a great disadvantage against Pacquiao.

At the time of his death, Valero hadn’t fought over 135. In fact, Valero only moved up in weight from super feather last year in April. To ask Valero to move up to welterweight for a fight against Pacquiao, which I could see happening given the pull that Pacquiao has, would have been asking too much from Valero. However, if the fight could have taken place at 140, Valero would have had an excellent chance at possibly beating Pacquiao. Both of these fighters would have gone toe-to-toe, and there’s no telling whether Pacquiao or Valero would have emerged as the winner. Valero had never been beaten and with his crushing power and unorthodox fighting style, he would have been a big problem for Pacquiao to deal with.

Arum wasn’t aware of how bad Valero’s problem was with alcohol at the time of Edwin’s death, saying “I had heard stories about drug and alcohol abuse, but I never realized the magnitude of it. The few times I met with hi, he seemed perfectly normal.” 

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Source: boxingnews24.com By Dave Lahr

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