By Robert Brizel, Real Combat Media Correspondent
RCM Fantasy Boxing
With all the hype coming up surrounding Adrien Broner’s step up to welterweight to challenge Paulie Malignaggi for Malignaggi’s World Boxing Association World Welterweight title, there’s still a few moments to ponder the dream matchup that never was; Edwin Valero versus Adrien Broner for the World Lightweight title.
Broner, now 26-0, 22 knockouts, five years experience and 96 rounds boxed, the WBC World Lightweight champion, would have had to face Venezuela’s Valero, 27-0, 27 knockouts, 67 rounds boxed and a 100% knockout ratio with a tattoo of Hugo Chavez on his chest. Valero was talking Manny Pacquiao and would have fought Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Floyd Mayweather, had he lived beyond 2010. Valero fought his career between 127 and 135 pounds. Chavez died in 2013.
Valero thrived on pain and gore, a blood and guts fighter nicknamed ‘dynamite’.
Broner’s ‘problem’ is basically is he still basically an untested commodity. However, Edwin Valero and Adrien Broner both had a common lightweight opponent in WBC world championship bouts: Antonio DeMarco. DeMarco was penalized a point for elbowing Valero accidentally in the second round, causing a bloody gash on Valero’s forehead to make for a long messy fight before DeMarco did not come out for the tenth round, on February 6, 2010, in Valero’s final professional bout.
Broner stopped DeMarco in the ninth round after cutting DeMarco below the left eye with jabs, and knocking DeMarco down in the eighth round, causing the DeMarco corner to throw in the towel.
Valero a 5’6″ southpaw, would immediately try to slug his way inside on the 5’7″ Broner and would turn the bout into a war. The outcome would largely depend on when the bout took place in either’s fighter’s career. If Valero had lived, Valero would have been the WBC champion Broner would have to beat to win the WBC World title, and not DeMarco (who won the WBC belt in his second try by stopping Jorge Linares).
Valero would have the edge on points in a 21 round battle with Broner if Valero was champion. If Broner was WBC champion and Valero was the aging ex-champion challenger when the bout took place, it would still be close, but the edge goes to Broner. Knockdowns would make the difference, and could be scored by both fighters at any time. Valero had a fighting heart, while Broner’s has yet to be tested by significant worthy opposition. Valero had planned to go up in weight. Broner is assuming a great deal by jumping two weight classes to go after Paulie Malignaggi.
This is because Paulie is 5’8 1/2″, taller than Valero, so the fight plan changes.
If Edwin Valero had fought Broner, he might have gone for the knockout. Against Juan Manuel Lopez, this sort of strategy by Manny Pacquiao didn’t work. Broner would have to fight a serious inside technical war and get his front right foot to the outside of Broner during serious in-fighting and brutal exchanges. Broner’s performance against Valero would hinge on having some world championship fights under his belt as experience first, such as WBA or WBO or IBO or IBF or something like that, just some world title bouts at 135 pounds to better prepare for Valero. Adrien Broner is going to get tested for real at 147 pounds, and he might find the going much tougher fighting ata higher weight than he would have had fighting at a lower weight.
If Broner beats Maliganggi, he might get a big money fight against Juan Manuel Lopez or Manny Pacquiao, and it won’t be easy to find a win here when Broner gets tested to the max. Broner should, however, beat Maliganggi in a 12 round technical fight if he keeps out of range. If Paulie is allowed inside, then that’s a different story. Paulie won’t be favored by the odds, but if he gets inside on Broner, we’ll find out what stuff Broner is made of. Valero, undoubtedly, would have fought Adrien Broner to the death. It’s like trying to predict Iron Mike Tyson versus Rocky Marciano in their prime, and nobody gets out of the ring alive. Valero would have cherished fighting Broner, perhaps exactly the sort of fight Valero would have wanted before fighting Manny Pacquiao. Now fight fans are left with maybe Manny Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather or Adrien Broner or Juan Manuel Marquez against, but we’re left dreaming about bouts like Broner versus Edwin Valero and what would be but never will.
Muhammad Ali versus Rocky Marciano had two different endings. Marciano won in the United States, while Ali won in Europe. The outcome of fights like Broner versus Valero has as many variables as Ali versus Marciano, and as the years pass, the boxing critics and experts will have different views. So the actual winner depends on how you view it. Broner has a shining class personality. Valero was a complete animal inside and outside the ring, the opposite of Broner, a key factor which makes the weird analysis involved in a Broner versus Valero dream fight so interesting. This is because Valero’s style makes a decision with Broner unlikely, though Valero versus Broner probably would go the 12 round distance as both represent high caliber fighters fighting a high level main event world class fight.
Valero’s behavior was not predictable, though his ring performances were as consistent as Broner’s. Valero, like Carlos Monzon, was a killer inside and outside the ring-for real. That killer instinct is what they lived for. Broner, for all of his talent, is too good a soul to have that type of subconscious instinct. Sugar Ray Robinson had it. Emile Griffith had it. Ray Mancini had it. Valero dealt with it well inside the ring, but not outside the ring. Broner will be tested when he fights the marquee names. At that point, we will find out how hungry a fighter Broner is.
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