Unstoppable Edwin

By Francis Walker, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: February 7, 2010

NEW YORK (BASN) — WBC lightweight champion Edwin Valero kept his perfect record intact following a TKO of interim titlist Antonio DeMarco in a much hyped duel between southpaws at Monterrey Arena in Mexico last Saturday. Valero’s record improves to an unblemished 27-0, with each victory coming by way of knockout.

It was the 28 year-old Venezuelan’s second defense of the WBC 135-pound title which was aired on SHOWTIME.

Although Valero defeated another opponent by way of knockout, DeMarco (27-2-1, 17 KOs) was a very tough opponent. At 5-foot-10, DeMarco had a four-inch height advantage over Valero and use it to the best of his ability.

He simply couldn’t stream past DeMarco as he did previous opponents. The 24 year-old Mexican challenger boxed and moved very well; forcing Valero to box a more technical fight.

“This was definitely my best performance,” Valero said afterward. “I learned I have to pace myself and can’t just come out in the beginning rounds so aggressively.

Valero, more than a boxer, used his fight with DeMarco to show that he was also a very good boxer. However, there were some anxious moments in the second round after DeMarco landed a stiff left elbow that left a lengthy gash on the right side of Valero’s head.

After DeMarco was docked one point for an accidental foul, he then Valero’s mouthpiece was knocked out moments later following a DeMarco right jab.

DeMarco did a good job of pressing Valero with right-jabs, but the difference was Valero’s ability to throw punches in volume. Valero kept moving forward, applied pressure, and threw every punch with a lot of power. Valero would come in behind his right jab and follow with two-three punch, left hook combinations.

As the bout reached the later rounds, Valero didn’t appear to be phased by the severe cut he had. In fact, Valero was well in control of the fight because he threw more punches, landed the more accurate/power shots. Valero wasn’t reckless with his aggression and actually boxed a much disciplined fight.

In rounds seven and eight, Valero was very light on his feet. Valero was more conscious of DeMarco’s right-jab and was committed to avoiding punches. Valero moved very well around the ring and threw punches from different angles.

He attacked DeMarco’s body with jabs and hooks before pummeling DeMarco’s face with power punches. In the ninth round, Valero continued to punish DeMarco, who had nothing left. DeMarco was simply target practice for Valero.

What was a competitive fight in the early rounds, developed into a training session for Valero. De Marco quit on his stool at the end of the ninth and rightfully so.

“I wasn’t surprised the fight lasted nine rounds,” Valero added. “I was expecting it to last the full 12. “I knew I had to keep doing what I was doing in order to win.”

“They thought I wasn’t a boxer and that I couldn’t deal with his reach. They didn’t know that I was a lateral fighter. I showed them that I had a better defense and better legs.”

In the co-feature: unbeaten welterweight Luis Carlos Abregu (29-0, 23 KOs) of Argentina survived a knockdown in the second round of an entertaining slugfest to drop Columbia’s Richard Gutierrez (23-4-1, 14 KOs) in round three.

But it was Abregu’s solid boxing skills and raw power that led him to a 10-round unanimous decision. All three judges scored the bout 97-91 (twice) and 98-90.

“I hurt both my hands in this fight, but whatever injury it is, it was worth it,” Abregu said. “This was a very hard fight and I am very proud of my performance. I won like I’d hoped. I wanted to be the best man tonight and I was.”

Gutierrez is now winless in his last four fights (0-3-1).

Glen Johnson earns title shot

At 41, it appears as though Glen Johnson has found the fountain of youth. Johnson (50-13-2, 34 KOs) successfully positioned himself for a world title shot having knocked out a resurgent Yusaf Mack (28-3-2, 17 KOs) in the sixth-round of an IBF light-heavyweight title eliminator on Friday.

The victory propelled Johnson as the IBF No 1-ranked challenger at 175 and will meet undefeated light-heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud in April.

Mack boxed a good fight by jabbing and throwing combinations. However, it was clear that Mack couldn’t sustain that style for twelve rounds. Mack’s desire to stand in front of Johnson and exchange punches proved right into Johnson’s game plan. Johnson’s assertiveness, experience, and power became evident after the third round, as he pressed the fight more.

Suddenly, Mack switched from conventional to southpaw (left-handed), which ultimately led to him getting knocked out. Johnson scored three knockdowns in the sixth round – the first occurring off a sharp right hook to Mack’s temple with two minutes remaining in the round. The softened-up Mack melted like ice cream, as he couldn’t withstand Johnson’s heated arsenal.

Each of Mack’s three professional losses occurred by knockout.

DeMarcus Corley should retire

When has a fighter finally had enough? When will DeMarcus Corley, a former WBO junior welterweight champion, famous for his slugfest with Miguel Cotto five years ago, finally decide to hang-up his gloves for good?

Having lost 12 of his last 20 fights dating back to his fourth defense of the WBO 140-pound title loss to Zab Judah (L 12) 6 ½ years ago, Corley (36-13-1, 21 KOs) suffered a one-punch knockout defeat to Freddy Hernandez (28-1, 19 KOs) at 1:48 of the fifth round. The bout was the featured main event of another exciting edition of SHOWTIME’s popular fight-series “ShoBox: The New Generation” from the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, CA.

It’s a shame to see Corley, a 35 year-old Washington, D.C. native, in the condition that he’s in. He was a wonderful boxer and he has a lot of experience. During his career, he fought the best: Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto, Devon Alexander, Junior Witter, Zab Judah, and Randall Bailey.

Perhaps the best victory of Corley’s career was when he won the WBO junior welterweight championship with an emphatic first-round stoppage of Felix Flores in June 2001. Corley took the fight on five days notice and went on to successfully defend the championship twice.

The memories of a prime Corley are wonderful, but so distant from the fighter he is today. Corley has sadly become a world champion-turned-journeyman. Corley has become a nightmare to watch because; whenever he fights the former flashy boxer is one-punch away from getting seriously hurt.

“I got caught, simple as that,” Corley said. “It happens to the best. Instead of me going bing, bing, bing (punches) and moving out of range, I went bing, bing, bing and stood up and got caught with a clean shot. Until then, I was frustrating him and fighting my fight.”

Sadly enough, Corley will continue to fight on.

“But I’m not going anywhere,” Corley said. “As soon as I can return to the gym, I will. I’m definitely going to fight again.”

In the co-feature: Francisco Contreras (13-0, 12 KOs) knocked out Juan Castaneda (16-3, 12 KOs) in the first round of a scheduled eight-round junior welterweight bout.