Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Topic of the Week: Edwin Valero

After Edwin Valero's spectacular two round destruction of Antonio Pitalua this past weekend, boxing fans naturally can't wait to see what's next for the quick handed southpaw slugger. This week, we asked our writers who they would like to see Valero in with next, and how they think he would do against the other top fighters in the 135 pound class.

1. Who would you like to see Edwin Valero fight next?

"Humberto Soto. What a great clash of styles this would be. Classic combination punching vs. a southpaw with lightning in his fists. I want this fight bad, and I think it could very well happen later this year since both guys are with Arum." - Lee Payton

"I think Katsidis is a good option. Another fight I would be interested in is Prescott. Two limited guys that can bang, sign me up for either." - Mark Lyons

"I too would like to see Valero against Prescott. Both are raw punchers, and Prescott has enough talent to give Valero's chin a stern test." - Michael Nelson

"I'd like to see him fight Juan Diaz next if Diaz was ready for another tough fight. Diaz has the ablity to at least trouble the best and would be a good gauge of whether Valero was ready for the very best, i.e. Pacquiao and Marquez. Plus it'd be a guaranteed action fight." - John Vaci

"I think a fight against Katsidis, Juan Diaz or Funeka would be the best options for him. Funeka's a reasonably well known fighter in the trade and should be able to take Valero a few rounds before eventually being ground down in the mid-section of the fight. I wouldn't be surprised if Yuri Romanov were Valero's next opponent, and if it is Romanov, Valero might be on the end of a surprise defeat. I think the smooth Belarusian would be able to counter the crude Valero all night long. " - Dave Oakes

"I think David Diaz would be the best choice. It would be an entertaining bout, and another spectacular performance, especially one that trumps Pacquiao's against Diaz, would start to line up things for Valero a bit more. Plus Diaz is tough enough to make it interesting." - Jeff Pryor

"I think Valero's team should try and get Katsidis. That would be a guaranteed crowd pleaser, and a winnable fight." - Andrew Fruman

Valero vs Juan Manuel Marquez

"I think he would give Marquez a ton of trouble before getting caught with something big on the chin. He has some technical flaws, but his speed and athleticism and the threat of his power makes those flaws harder to take advantage of. That said, Marquez TKO 9." - Lee Payton

"I think Marquez would completely undress him. He couldn't miss a counter against Valero if he was blindfolded. I'm hard pressed to see that fight lasting past 5 rounds, or being at all competitive." - Mark Lyons

"I doubt he's ready for an elite counter-puncher with pop like Marquez. Marquez would likely have him out of there before he even has time to make mid-fight adjustments." - Michael Nelson

"At this point he's a bit too inexperienced and lacking enough technical ablity to beat Marquez." - John Vaci

"I've seen no evidence as of yet to suggest that right now Valero's anything more than a limited slugger with a huge punch. I think he has to have a few learning fights before facing someone with the skills of Marquez. The only trouble is that he's a world champion and will be expected to face some of the bigger names of the division instead of honing his skills against durable but limited opponents." - Dave Oakes

"Marquez eventually would pick Valero apart and KO him, but he might have to come off the floor to do it." - Jeff Pryor

"I think Marquez is just too sharp, but Valero could make things interesting early." - Andrew Fruman

Valero vs Juan Diaz

"Juan Diaz is capable of beating Valero, I'd just be more comfortable picking him if he had more power and moved his head more. Also, we don't really know how he handles a good left-hander. His style really is better suited to face other orthodox fighters, because of the way he sets his feet. I'll take Valero, but I think Diaz breaks his KO streak." - Lee Payton

"He has a punchers chance against Diaz. You never know how Juan will respond to his first knockout. I will take the baby Bull by late TKO, but Edwin has a shot there." - Mark Lyons

"His lack of an uppercut would serve as a big disadvantage against Diaz, though he certainly has a good chance of a late round KO." - Michael Nelson

"I think he also beat Juan Diaz by knockout, but he'd have to earn it, provided Diaz was in the same form as he was against Marquez." - John Vaci

"I'd rate his chances about 50/50 against Diaz." - Dave Oakes

"Juan Diaz overwhelms him early, but Valero catches him mid-late." - Jeff Pryor

"I think I'd lean ever so slightly towards Valero in a great fight." - Andrew Fruman

Valero vs Joan Guzman

"It's hard to picture a Valero-Guzman fight. Maybe because I don't see it ever happening, for one reason or another. I'll say that I suspect Guzman is far more comfortable in there with conventional fighters. I don't really have much proof to offer, just a hunch, given his style. While Valero is probably not as good technically, he works hard and fast. Speed screws everything up. And while I think Guzman could catch him on the chin at any point in the fight, I don't see a KO. Joan can still hurt guys at 130-135, he just can't knock them out. Interestingly, Valero's best shot may come down the stretch. We could really see what he's made of if this fight was put together, though I don't see Arum taking the chance." - Lee Payton

"Guzman would take him to school. Not sure if it's a stoppage or a decision. I can't see Valero winning a round in this one." - Mark Lyons

"I'd favor Guzman to outpoint him in a competitive match." - Michael Nelson

"Guzman would be a tough style match-up if he could make weight safely, but even if he did, I think Valero could eke out a victory due to his size and strength advantage." - John Vaci

"He's got a better chance than he would have against Marquez, but for the same reasons, he'd be in over his head." - Dave Oakes

"Guzman outboxes him over twelve." - Jeff Pryor

"The most likely result is for the cagey Guzman to edge out a close decision, but I think Valero's speed and power give him a reasonable shot at winning this. Guzman's ability to make weight and be strong late would be a big factor." - Andrew Fruman

Valero vs Michael Katsidis

"Katsidis has a small puncher's chance. The problem is he just takes too many shots. I can't get around that. His feet aren't great for facing a lefty, but he does kind of make up for that with athleticism, as we saw against Casamayor. I'm sure he'd make things interesting, but he's out-gunned in this one. Valero TKO in 6." - Lee Payton

"Katsidis in a shoot out. I'll take Michael by KO in a fight that sees them both on the canvas." - Mark Lyons

"I think he has more power and speed than Katsidis and would likely take him out early in a war." - Michael Nelson

"I think he knocks out Katsidis, who's just way to hittable to surivive against Valero." - John Vaci

"Both guys hit the deck, but Katsidis' face is sliced up and they stop it." - Jeff Pryor

"I like Valero by KO within 5, although Katsidis would have a decent chance." - Andrew Fruman