To see is to believe.
Last Saturday, the boxing world witnessed what is assumed to be the crowning of a new king—well, at least in the lightweight division.
In his first fight in the United States since 2003. Edwin Valero wasted no time in clinching his 25th knockout victory in a sweet and emphatic fashion against seasoned veteran, Antonio Pitalua.
In front of the thousands in attendance at the Frank Erwin Center, Valero entered the ring undefeated. Five minutes later, he finished the fight still unblemished.
He made short-work of the Mexico-based Colombian Pitalua, knocking him out twice in the second round—though Pitalua managed to get on his feet on both occasions. Valero, now smelling blood, trapped Pitalua in the ropes. After a flurry of punches, the referee had seen enough and jumped in to stop the bout.
“Honestly, I expected more from him,” Valero said. “I thought we would go into the fifth or sixth round, and I would have to break him down little by little...I did land some jabs in the first round that, I think, broke his spirit. Then, I knew the end would come faster.”
Valero, who vacated his WBA super-featherweight title some months ago to test the lightweight waters, now holds the WBC lightweight belt—his second title in as many weight classes.
During the post-fight interview, he then calls out WBA/WBO champion and Ring Magazine lightweight king Juan Manuel Marquez for a unification bout.
“This is the beginning of big things,” Valero said in the ring, immediately after the fight, “No man can take my punch.”
Perhaps it was really a beginning of big things as Valero, 27, is now 25-0—with all wins coming via knockout. He seems to be inching closer to the higher echelon where he brags he rightfully belongs.
In a night where the stars align. The Venezuelan pride took a step closer to a self-fulfilling prophecy.