UPDATE ON VALERO, as reported on FightNews.com by Gabriel F. Cordero:
Unbeaten two-division world champion Edwin Valero was involved in a traffic accident and a police chase on Friday in Mérida, Venezuela. There were no injuries but Valero, allegedly under the influence of alcohol, fled the scene of the accident. He was taken home by police. He later said that he fled because he felt harassed by the media and the general public. “I reacted as anyone reacts to this situation,” he stated. The champ promised to take care of the expenses of the other driver. Valero had been scheduled to leave later that day to Cuba with his wife, two children, trainer Mario Morales and adviser Segundo Lujano, where he would begin a rehabilitation program after recognizing his problems with alcohol and drugs. He had just been released Thursday after 14 days of rehab following another incident. Authorities are now reconsidering whether or not they should send Valero to Cuba for further rehab.
I wrote the column below BEFORE hearing about the newest incident:
Bob Arum may getting ready to throw the promotional towel in on Problem Child Edwin Valero.
Valero, 28, is getting more exposure on the police blotter than on Boxrec.com.
Valero, with the perfect batting average of 27 knockouts in as many pro bouts, is Top Rank’s Problem Child and, based on my conversation Friday afternoon with Uncle Bob, I’d say the 78 year old promoter is thisclose to dumping the Vicious Venezuelan.
See Michael Marley interview with Lamar Clark of RoudOne.com on various boxing issues, including who wins when Manny fights Floyd Jr.
Not that Unca Roberto dumps commercially viable, undefeated world champions easily but…he is clearly frustrated with the continuing stream of incomplete and inaccurate information he’s been getting from sources close to the lefthanded puncher who is now the WBC “Champion In Recess.”
Rick Reeno, newshound from Boxingscene, informed Arum that Valero, last reported being sent to a booze rehab center in his homeland for 180 days of drying out, had just jetted over to Cuba for a training stint.
See reporter Hilmar Rojas on Valero getting OK to spend a month in Havana. Good thing Ernie Hemingway isn’t there to corrupt him, eh?
Someone not as wizened, not as jaded as Arum might have blanched at this news but, when it comes to Valero, I don’t think the promoter would’ve been surprised if the scribe had told him Valero was visiting Uranus…
Aggressive styles of southpaws Edwin Valero, Manny Pacquiao would make for slugfest, it seems, but Valero’s away from the ring problems keep mounting (AP Photo)
Then Arum made comments which lead me to believe that, one more serious slip and fall, and he will throw the promotional towel in on the troubled Valero.
(See Scott Heritage on increasing impatience with Valero’s litany of troubles.)
“He’s in Cuba…I guess that figures with (Venezuela dictator and Valero pal Hugo) Chavez being an admirer of (Fidel) Castro but why?” Arum said.
“I can’t get a straight story out of anybody on this guy, Valero. Not even from his manager. I don’t know that the manager even really knows the score, I really don’t. Him going to Cuba…that is not the smartest thing to do when you are trying to get a visa to enter the United States, is it now?”
Castro and Chavez are probably not discussing Edwin Valero beating Manny Pacquiao, you think? (AP Photo)
(Valero is barred from the U.S. due to a drunk driving conviction in Las Vegas. His immigration lawyer has been working OT to overcome this legal hurdle but Valero’s various domestic violence issues don’t help, either.)
Arum said he can’t equate the Valero he knows with the fighter who keeps into alcohol-related issues.
“He sees me he is very nice, very quiet and respectful then but…
“Look, when it comes to what is really going on with this guy, I am not sure, really. I just don’t have the information or the insight on this guy. The only guy who seems to report accurately to us is the WBA’s Gilberto Mendoza Jr. Junior talks to Todd (duBoef, Top Rank president).”
One Valero lawyer in Venezuela told some media that the fighter was not sent for six months in liquor and that he could do an Evelyn Wood style speed rehab which would get him not high but completely “dry” in a mere 48 hours.
I asked Arum if that seemed remotely plausible.
I got a typical Arum snappy answer.
“I don’t know, I’ve never been in rehab…have you?”
Hey, don’t get so personal, Roberto.
I immediately repaired to Glacken’s in the shadow of The House That (he played in Boston TWICE) Ruth Built and had a fortifying adult beverage.
Edwin Valero’s promoter is not sure what the fighter is up or down to…
Me, I pity the immigration lawyer.
He knows who he is.
I hear’s he’s a Red Sox fan, wink, wink.