Edwin Valero Beats Antonio DeMarco Into Submission, Remains Perfect
By Brandon Estrict, Doghouse Boxing (Feb 7, 2010) Photo © German Villasenor  
Edwin Valero has officially arrived.

The Venezuelan-born Valero, headlining his first nationally televised card on Showtime, retained his WBC Lightweight Championship, stopping interim-champ Antonio DeMarco, after nine brutal rounds.

DeMarco, now 23-2-1 (17), was mercifully saved by his corner after round nine. He’d taken a sustained beating over the course of, virtually, the entire fight. DeMarco had a height advantage of four inches, a reach advantage of two inches, and had fought heavier than Valero for the bulk of his career. The size advantage would serve him well early on as he took Valero’s shots reasonably well. There were brief moments where his knees were slightly buckled in rounds one and five, but DeMarco recovered quickly both times and continued fighting.

After about the midway point of the fight however, when Valero began to really ratchet up his body attack, it became clear that DeMarco was starting to wilt.

Valero, 27-0 (27), remains unbeaten and continues his ultra-impressive streak of knockouts. As a professional, no one has been able to last the distance with the power-punching southpaw. Though fans didn’t get the spectacular one-punch KO that Valero had been known for, the fact that he was able to pitch a virtual shutout of an opponent perceived to be his stiffest test as a pro should speak volumes.

As easy as it looked at times, Valero was not without adversity. In round one, a small cut was opened under his right eye, presumably the product of a punch though there was never an official ruling. That one was of no consequence. The real damage was done in round two. An errant elbow from DeMarco opened up a nasty gash near Valero’s right temple, and the blood rushed out upon contact, staining Valero’s trunks and chest. The fight looked like it was in jeopardy at the time, as referee Laurence Cole brought Valero to the ring doctor. After close inspection, the doctor decided Valero could continue and before restarting the action, Cole, per the WBC rules, deducted a point from DeMarco for the accidental elbow.

The remaining seconds of that round would produce wild exchanges, Valero obviously feeling the urgency the situation looked like it called for.

Back in the corner between rounds two and three, Valero was told to relax and continue to fight his fight. It turned out to be great advice. The flow of blood never quite stopped, but his corner had it under control for the rest of the bout and it wasn’t a huge factor. Valero continued to pile up points and punish his foe with furious combination punching topped off by strong overhand lefts, slipping out to avoid the huge right-hook counter DeMarco looked for each time.

It was an impressive all-around performance for Valero, who showed off skill little knew he possessed. He carried his hands dangerously low throughout the fight, but was actually quite adept at slipping and rolling punches. He was also able to take a punch when he needed to, displaying a solid beard, and wisely stepped back out of range after combinations. Quite a coming-out party it was for El Inca.

”The entire world is seeing a fighter ascending,” Valero told Showtime analyst, Steve Farhood, through a translator afterward. “They’re going to be happy by the way I fight.”

For DeMarco, the loss was his first since a 2006 Majority Decision defeat in his 9th pro fight. It was also the first time in his career that he’s been stopped.

He told Farhood, also through a translator, “It wasn’t my night.”

“My trainer is like my family and he saw me taking punishment. I’m a Mexican fighter that never wants to quit but he saw Valero was a better fighter.”

Edwin Valero’s victory, and more importantly his performance, opens the door to a lot of interesting matchups in the competitive 135 lb. division. Guys like Juan Diaz, the great Juan Manuel Marquez, the massive Ali Funeka, Joan Guzman and Joel Casamayor come to mind as possible fights, none bigger than a clash with Marquez. The Lightweight picture has another major player, and with all of the possibilities, boxing fans will be the real winners.

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Contact Brandon at BEstrict@hotmail.com

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