Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Manny Pacquiao-Edwin Valero - Please Make This Fight Happen!

by James Slater - Immediately after he'd stopped a brave Antonio DeMarco in the 10th-round on Saturday night, improving his perfect record to 27-0(27), WBC lightweight king Edwin Valero again called out fellow southpaw and reigning pound-for-pound star Manny Pacquiao. Saying a fight between he and the Filipino legend is a fight "the whole world wants to see," the lethal-punching Venezuelan made it clear he'd be willing to move up in weight to make the super-fight happen.

Indeed, the word is, "El Inca" will make the move up to 140-pounds in his very next fight (tantalising whispers suggest Valero could possibly fight WBO light-welterweight champion Timothy Bradley in the summer!). Believing he can carry his power - punching power that has seen him win every single one of his pro bouts inside the distance - up with him to 140 and maybe even beyond, Valero is hungry for a mega-match with "Pac-Man." He is not the only one!

As big a fight as Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather would have been (and maybe still will be), a fight between Pacquiao and Valero is something else altogether.. Not as big a mainstream fight, a showdown between the two southpaws who carry dynamite in their gloves would be a hardcore fight fans' dream. But what are the chances of it happening, and of Valero being capable of wreaking havoc as a 140-pounder?

First of all, Pacquiao must get past the tough and durable Joshua Clottey in March. No easy fight for Manny, the March 13th clash could even conceivably ruin any talk of a fight with Valero. Secondly, Valero must win his debut at 140-pounds (if this debut IS against the man known as "Desert Storm," there is no guarantee he will do so). But assuming both men do win their next fight, could we see Valero get his wish later this year or early next?

Pacquiao, if he cannot get the winner of Shane Mosley-Floyd Mayweather to agree to fight him this year, would have no name more appealing to the fans than Valero. Though he's a huge enough name to be able to fight just about anybody and have his fans tuning in, Mayweather and Mosley aside, a fight with Valero makes the most sense and has more intrigue to it than any other for Pac-Man. Who wouldn't want to see this fight?

And Valero, at a listed 5'6," is tall enough to be able to move up to 140-pounds. Only a fraction shorter in height than Pacquiao, Valero actually has a slightly longer reach than Manny. And if Valero were able to carry his frightening power up with him, well, his chances of beating even as great a fighter as Pacquiao would have to be looked at as at least pretty good.

The sight the fight would be held at could possibly prove somewhat problematic. It's well known how Valero is unable to fight anywhere in America other than Texas, and a fight the magnitude of Valero-Pacquiao would be best suited to Las Vegas or New York. But the again, Pacquiao-Clottey is taking place in Dallas, Texas, so why not Pacquiao-Valero? Or how about the fight happening in The Philippines? The bout would not make as much money if it happened there, but Manny has fought at home before. Imagine what an occasion it would be for Manny's adoring countrymen to see their hero fight such a big fight in Manila!

Wherever it were staged, and at whichever weight (Manny may not wish to drop back down to 140), this fight would have no trouble at all getting the fans to tune in. Two fast, powerful and talented fighters going at it head-on; what's not to like? Would Pacquiao be able to cope with Valeros' wicked punches and relentless aggression? Would the less-polished Valero be able to deal with Pacquiao's punching power along with his finer overall skills? Could the clash of southpaws possibly go the distance?

These questions and far more besides will hopefully be answered in the coming months. Let's hope the promoters involved recognise how big a deal the making of this fight is to boxing fans!


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