Last month there was disappointing news coming out of Venezuela and WBC lightweight champion Edwin Valero was suspected for battering his 24-year old wife and mother of his two children, Yennifer Carolina. Carolina would be reported to a local hospital after suffering multiple bruises and a collapsed lung. Valero was instantly suspected due to his violent nature while dropping his wife off at the hospital but he would later be cleared of all charges. The news was disturbing and Valero later admitted himself into a rehabilition center for drug and alcohol treatment . Valero’s career as a fighter was instantly put on the backburner as everyone simply hoped he would find a way to control the demons in his head for the safety of himself and his loved ones in the future.
Those hopes have been drastically dashed as news broke earlier this morning that the body of Carolina had been found in a hotel room in the city of Valencia. Valero was later detained by police in suspicion of the murder, as he reportedly had told the hotel’s personnel that he had killed his wife before leaving on dawn of Sunday. This is gut-wrenching news and likely spells the end of Valero’s promising career as a fighter.
Years back Valero created serious buzz for his penchant for the knockout, as he stopped his first eighteen opponents in the first round. His career was dealt with a temporary roadblock as he was banned from fighting in the Untied States due to a failed MRI that stemmed from a motorcylce accident in 2001. Valero would continue fighting on outside of the States and began making moves under the radar. A tenacious battle with Vincente Mosquera in Panama ended with Valero stopping the brave champion in the 10th round and marked his first taste of championship glory. Valero was eventually cleared to fight in the state of Texas and in recent years had also plied his trade in such locations as Japan, Mexico, and his native Venezuela . On April 4th, 2009 Valero moved up in weight and captured his WBC trinket with a 2nd round stoppage over Antonio Pitalua.
Valero defended his title on two occasions, the last being a thoroughly convincing ninth round stoppage over Antonio DeMarco, and made mention of his desire to move to 140 pounds while throwing out the names of elite fighters such as Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley as people on his wish list. It was rumored that Valero’s first opponent at 140 pounds would be savvy boxer Lamont Peterson and the Washington, DC fighter spoke recently on the possibility of the contest still coming off. Peterson noted that despite Valero’s troubles outside of the ring that he hoped the bout could still come about. Two days later Peterson stopped Damian Fuller in the 7th round at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, but Valero is likely the last man he will ever set foot in the ring with.
When news like this hits it is both tragic and revealing as everything gets put into perspective in a chilling way. On the surface athletes are commended and admired for their amazing abilities to perform in front of packed audiences but away from the spotlight they are just as human as anyone else. Edwin Valero was obviously a man with many issues in his life and his career as a prizefighter is the last thing that matters from this point forward.
For more on Valero’s tragic case please read Michael Marley’s piece HERE
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Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at [email protected]