If you are a fan of “action” fighters like me, the past few days has surely got your blood boiling.
This past Saturday provided a bounty of fights for even the most fickle fans.
Starting in Atlantic City, unknown welterweight Mike Jones battered Hector Munoz for five rounds in an unexpected result. Jones had tough guy Munoz backing up for most of the fight, wobbling him early with a left hook in the first that nearly took him down.
At 26, Jones may have shown enough of his bruising style and tough left hook to get his name mentioned for a marquee fight in the coming months.
Atlantic City was just getting started.
The main card featured Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik defending his middleweight belts against the exciting Sergio “Maravilla” (marvelous) Martinez.
Anyone who saw Martinez lose what many called 'the fight of the year' to Paul Williams in 2009 knew he would pose a formidable threat to the champ.
What an understatement that proved to be.
Sergio was marvelous.
Martinez, an exciting action fighter with relentless energy, pounded on Pavlik early, and then finished him in the later rounds to take the Pride of Youngstown’s WBO and WBC belts in unanimous fashion.
When all was said and done, Martinez had two belts and Pavlik had a nasty gash over his right eye, a product of taking 112 of Martinez’s blows.
A few hundred miles north, in Montreal, undefeated Lucian Bute bulldozed Edison Miranda en route to a third round TKO to retain his IBF Super Middleweight title and 26th victory.
At one point, Miranda seemingly taunted the Canadian brute, only to take a battering for his arrogance.
The victory further solidified Bute's reputation as a bruising super middleweight that few want to face.
But just as the dust settled from Saturday’s slugfests, fans were coming to grips with the news that one of the most exciting action fighters on the planet had killed himself.
Edwin Valero, the troubled Venezuelan lightweight who was on the verge of international stardom, apparently hung himself in a jail cell after being incarcerated on charges of killing his young wife only a few hours earlier.
The 28-year-old champion, who had been compared to superstar Manny Pacquiao and briefly held the record for consecutive first round knockouts (18), had a cultish following for his all-out exciting style and punching power.
The news of his death laid a somber tone over a weekend of glorious fights that should have been remembered for the quality of boxing rather than the loss of a good fighter.