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Edwin Valero was not exactly a model human being, but neither are many pro fighters current or past. He wasn't even a technically great boxer, but Edwin Valero won 27 of his 27 fights by way of knockout; that’s exciting. I first read about him in a piece in Boxing Monthly several years ago, which talked about his great record, and the difficulties he was having getting a licence in the States, having suffered a severe head injury and brain bleed in a motorbike accident. Incidentally, head trauma of that exact kind is strongly linked with people developing a violent streak and trigger temper. 

After reading the article, I looked his name up on youtube and found footage of his fights. My brother and I sat open-jawed in front of the laptop, watching as he hunted opponents down with his slashing right jab and his left held ready, almost by his waist, to deliver the inevitable knockout blow. And it was inevitable. Valero’s first 18 fights went only one round and he won the WBA Super Featherweight title having boxed in just 30 rounds as a professional. That’s astonishing. He punched so solidly, his feet so firmly grounded, it looked like a mule kicking.

Some might call it boring, winning with such ease, or even poor matchmaking. Perhaps it was, but what excited me was his future. Valero had just moved to light welterweight, and who wouldn’t want to have seen him fight a top slugger in that division, someone like Maidana say? And then, should he have won, could he have met with a technician like Khan or Bradley? Hell, even if his level topped-out, a bout with Katsidis at lightweight would have had me drooling.

The fun I used to have waiting for his fights on to appear online was, I hoped, due to evolve into being able to see them screened live on big bills. Once it was proven he would make promoters money there’d be no way the medical grounds would be as much of an issue; Texas had already given Valero a licence to fight. I couldn’t wait to see his name in the papers. I got my wish. But “Edwin Valero kills himself after arrest for wife’s murder” was too tragic on too many levels.

Having apparently gone off the rails following his last fight (more so than normal; rumour has it he had been a fan of heavy boozing and taking cocaine for many years), his wife had taken a restraining order out on him and his manager refused to speak to him. Valero handed himself into hotel security where his wife had been staying, confessing to them, they claimed, that he had killed her. He was found hanged in his cell later that day. Just like Arturo Gatti’s demise, rumour abounds as to the specifics surrounding his death. He is a difficult person to defend, and so I am not attempting to do so. I just miss watching his fights, and looking forward to the future ones. Edwin Valero, I miss your boxing.

Written by Adam Thorn (@TheLadHimself on Twitter)