Let's See If Valero Can Beat Soto First Before Facing Pacquiao or Bradley

Oliver SuarezContributor IIFebruary 18, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 19:  Manny Pacquiao poses for photos at Cowboys Stadium on January 19, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Valero’s destruction of DeMarco earlier this month forced fans and pundits to re-analyze their initial perception of him as a fighter and his chances against some of the top fighters today.

No doubt that Valero had an impressive record before the fight with DeMarco, but it’s also no secret that most of his past victims were class B fighters. Now with his destruction of DeMarco along with the level of maturity and ring savvy that he showed, he proved that he might actually be better than previously advertised.

But the talks about him about him as a possible and credible opponent for Pacquiao and Bradley might be a little premature. DeMarco was a solid opponent, but he‘s not even in top 5 as far as the best fighters in the lightweight division is concerned.

I’m not even fully convinced that he can beat the top fighter in the junior lightweight division in Humberto Soto. I would favor Valero in a bout between the two, but I’m almost certain that Soto that can give Valero the toughest fight of his career. Soto is a junior lightweight, but I have no doubt that he will move up for a chance to face Valero.

Soto is an aggressive fighter, but he’s also fundamentally sound and has a world class chin to go along with great stamina. Unlike many of Valero’s past opponents, I would not even be surprise if he takes the fight to Valero. What happens when Valero is forced to fight backwards?

Soto may not be the dynamic puncher in the caliber of Valero, but he punches hard enough to earn the respect of Valero. He’s also one of the best body punchers in the game and that can certainly slow down Valero’s constant attacks.

In addition, Soto has shared the ring with solid fighters such as Rocky Juarez, Joan Guzman, Oscar Leon, Jesus Chavez and Pacquiao. That’s Bobby Pacquiao of course. So facing an opponent of Valero’s caliber won’t intimidate him and the intimidation factor has obviously been one of the key ingredients in Valero’s success.

Valero has the potential to a superstar, but let see him first beat an elite fighter at the lightweight division first before comparing him to Pacquiao or entertaining the idea of him facing the latter or Bradley.

He might have a somewhat similar style to the old version of Pacquiao, but one must not forget that the current pound for pound king has superior athleticism and speed, which makes him more formidable and dangerous.

But that’s not to say that Valero has no chance in beating Pacquiao. Many people said Barrera would destroy Pacquiao in their first fight. Although unlike Valero, Pacquiao’s resume already included a number of fights against solid opponents.

A Pacquiao vs. Valero would surely be a barnburner, but a complete mismatch at the present time. Let's see how he does with a fighter such as Humberto Soto first, then we might see if he can definitely compete with Bradley and Pacquiao.


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