Edwin Valero, also known as "El Inca," was a Venezuelan professional boxer who competed from 2002 to 2010. He was an undefeated former world champion in two weight classes, having held the WBA super featherweight title from 2006 to 2008, and the WBC lightweight title from 2009 to 2010. He was born on December 3rd, 1981, in Bolero Alto, Mérida, Venezuela.
Valero's professional boxing career spanned more than 7 years, from 2002 to 2010. He made his professional boxing debut at the age of 20 on July 9, 2002, against Eduardo Hernandez, defeating him via 1st round TKO. He would go on to remain undefeated until his last fight with a career total of 27 wins, 0 losses, 0 draws, and 0 no-contests.
In his first attempt at a world title, on August 5, 2006, Valero faced WBA super featherweight champion Vicente Mosquera. In what would arguably prove to be both boxers' toughest contest, Valero started out the match in signature fashion, knocking down the champion twice in the first round. However, Mosquera recovered and in the third round responded by knocking Valero down, which was to be Valero's only knockdown in his career. At this point in his 19-0 career, Valero's longest fight had only been two rounds, and the question remained as to whether the untested Valero had the stamina to go the distance. The answer came after ten grueling rounds when the ever-tenacious Mosquera finally started to wane under the challenger's continuous heavy-handed counters. Deciding Mosquera had received enough punishment, the referee called a halt to the match at 2:00 of round ten, making Valero the champion. Valero would go on to successfully defend the title four times before moving up in weight class, with his final defense a seventh-round stoppage of Takehiro Shimada in Tokyo on June 12, 2008.
Valero won two world titles at two weight classes. He defended his WBA super-featherweight title against Michael Lozada on January 3, 2007, winning the fight via 1st round TKO. On December 15, 2007, he defended it again, defeating Zaid Zavaleta via 3rd round TKO. Valero then vacated his WBA title on September 3, 2008, to fight in the lightweight division.
On April 4, 2009, Valero fought Antonio Pitalúa for the vacant WBC lightweight title in Austin, Texas. Pitalúa came into the fight with 14 consecutive knockouts on his 46-3 record, and with Valero's 24 consecutive knockouts, the stage was set for a decisive match between two heavy hitters. After an uneventful first round, Valero knocked Pitalúa down just seconds into the second round with a right hook. Pitalua managed to get up, but suffered two more knockdowns before the referee stopped the fight at 0:49 of round two. Valero then successfully defended his WBC lightweight title two times, with his final defense a ninth-round RTD victory over Antonio DeMarco on February 6, 2010.
Unknown to the boxing world at the time, Valero was struggling with personal demons offstage. He had a severe motorcycle accident in 2001, which created roadblocks to major boxing bodies sanctioning his fights. He claimed that his doctor cleared him to fight on January 17, 2002, and he turned professional that July with a first-round KO. In January 2004, he failed an MRI owing to brain scan irregularities in New York and thus was not allowed to fight in the United States, and his scheduled HBO appearance on Boxing After Dark was scrapped. He continued to fight outside the US.
Valero was arrested on assault charges on September 27, 2009, for allegedly attacking a man's mother and sister over a feud. Valero denied the allegations and considered them an attempt to harm his reputation. His mother came forward to tell the media that no foul play was involved in the incident. However, Valero again became the centre of attention in a similar case when he was accused of assault by his wife on March 25, 2010. She was sent to the hospital for bruises and a damaged lung. Valero denied any wrongdoing, stating his wife stumbled from a stairway, but investigators doubted him. His wife later told authorities that her injuries were caused by an accident on some stairs, despite the fact that she had been treated for similar injuries twice before at the hospital. Because of the vicious personality he showed at the hospital where his wife was treated, Valero was sent for six months of psychiatric rehabilitation.
On April 18, 2010, Valero was arrested after police found the body of his 24-year-old wife, Jennifer Carolina Viera de Valero, in a hotel in the city of Valencia, Carabobo. She had been stabbed three times. Valero was considered a suspect and was taken to jail. Valero later admitted to hotel security and police that he had murdered his wife. The day after being taken to jail, Valero was found hanging in his cell by his pants. He was pronounced legally dead at 1:30 am.
While boxing fans will remember him for his impressive 27-0 record, Valero's legacy is it tainted by his tragic end. After losing his way amidst personal demons, Valero is a reminder of both the heights and the depths that boxing can reach.
Edwin Valero Fight Record
|27||Feb 6, 2010||28||Antonio DeMarco||Win||RTD9|
|26||Dec 19, 2009||28||Héctor Velázquez||Win||RTD7|
|25||Apr 4, 2009||27||Antonio Pitalúa||Win||TKO2|
|24||Jun 12, 2008||26||Takehiro Shimada||Win||TKO7|
|23||Dec 15, 2007||26||Zaid Zavaleta||Win||TKO3|
|22||May 3, 2007||25||Nobuhito Honmo||Win||TKO8|
|21||Jan 3, 2007||25||Michael Lozada||Win||TKO1|
|20||Aug 5, 2006||24||Vicente Mosquera||Win||TKO10|
|19||Mar 25, 2006||24||Genaro Trazancos||Win||TKO2|
|18||Feb 25, 2006||24||Whyber Garcia||Win||TKO1|
|17||Dec 5, 2005||24||Aram Ramazyan||Win||KO1|
|16||Sep 25, 2005||23||Hero Bando||Win||TKO1|
|15||Aug 13, 2005||23||Jose Hernandez||Win||KO1|
|14||Jul 1, 2005||23||Esteban de Jesus Morales||Win||KO1|
|13||May 21, 2005||23||Hernan Abraham Valenzuela||Win||TKO1|
|12||Dec 18, 2003||22||Tomas Zambrano||Win||TKO1|
|11||Oct 27, 2003||21||Alejandro Heredia||Win||KO1|
|10||Aug 28, 2003||21||Roque Cassiani||Win||TKO1|
|9||Jul 19, 2003||21||Emmanuel Ford||Win||TKO1|
|8||May 23, 2003||21||Dairo Julio||Win||TKO1|
|7||May 17, 2003||21||Edgar Mendoza||Win||TKO1|
|6||Mar 22, 2003||21||Danny Sandoval||Win||KO1|
|5||Nov 30, 2002||20||Julio Pineda||Win||KO1|
|4||Nov 18, 2002||20||Luis Soto||Win||TKO1|
|3||Oct 26, 2002||20||Angel Alirio Rivero||Win||TKO1|
|2||Sep 23, 2002||20||Danny Sandoval||Win||TKO1|
|1||Jul 9, 2002||20||Eduardo Hernandez||Win||TKO1|