RINGSIDE REPORT AND POST-FIGHT NOTES: VALERO RISES IN MONTERREY
By Dr. Allan Recto
08 Feb 2010
Edwin Valero, being carried by his trainer Mario Morales, celebrates with his team after stopping Antonio DeMarco in the 9th round in Arena Monterrey in Mexico Saturday night. Photo by Dr Allan Recto.
Monterrey, Mexico – In a crowded venue Arena Monterrey, WBC Lightweight Champion Edwin Valero successfully defended his title against Interim Champion Antonio DeMarco whose trainer, Romulo Quirarte, stopped the fight at the end of Rd 9. A visibly tired DeMarco did not respond to his corner when asked if he still wanted to be in the fight. The Mexican challenger DeMarco never complained about the decision and sat in his stool accepting defeat, reminiscent of the De La Hoya-Pacquiao fight in December 6, 2008.
The hard-hitting Southpaw Valero from Venezuela showed he was too much for DeMarco who needed a knockout in the later round to win or score an upset.
Antonio DeMarco managed to land some good punches during the bout but wasn’t enough to stop the madness of Edwin Valero, whose mouthpiece was knocked off in the 2nd Round. (Photo by Reiver Rodriguez)
DeMarco cut Valero above the right eye, in the forehead near the temple, due to an unintentional elbow, after throwing a left hook in the 3rd Round. Valero became more aggressive, throwing and landing power punches, mostly targeting the face or head, in several attempts to put DeMarco down. He never did.
Even with this vicious assault, DeMarco remained in the fight but paid dearly. There were times he got pushed to the corners or the ropes when receiving barrage of punches. The ringside physician checked Valero’s cut then advised the referee that he could continue despite the gash. With blood slowly dripping in his right face, Valero fought like a mad warrior inside the squared circle.
At the beginning of Rd 6, DeMarco’s corner advised him, “Go for the Knockout, Tony. Move your head, don’t stay down to his size, stand tall.”
Before the 7th Rd, trainer Mario Morales became concerned that his fighter Valero couldn’t see well with the right eye so he looked around for the referee as if suggesting to end the match.
This prompted promoter Gary Shaw to yell at the sidelines, “Aw, come on,” knowing that if the fight got stopped, his fighter DeMarco would lose because Valero was ahead in the scorecards. Valero kept attacking and applying pressure throughout.
DeMarco’s main trainer later conceded and advised the referee to halt the match, after sensing his fighter was very exhausted and could get hurt some more.
Trainer Romulo Quirarte comforts his boxer Antonio DeMarco after deciding not to continue the fight. Gary Shaw is shown holding the fighter’s head. Photo by Dr Allan Recto.
Promoter Gary Shaw consoled DeMarco at his blue corner stating, “You have nothing to be ashamed of. You fought like a true champion.” The referee from Texas, Laurence Cole (who may referee the Pacquiao-Clottey fight in Dallas in March 13) told this writer, “It was the right thing to do. He was getting hit too much. I commend his trainer for bringing it to an end.”
Referee Laurence Cole (L) seated next to judges - Oren Shellenberger, Marty Denkin and Steve Morrow who scored the bout 89-81, all in favor of the winner Edwin Valero. Photo by Dr Allan Recto.
In this SHOWTIME Championship Boxing co-feature event, Argentinean Luis Carlos Abregu (29-0/ 23 KOs) scored a unanimous 10 round decision against Richard Gutierrez (24-4-1/14 KOs) from Colombia. Abregu was sent to the canvas in the second round, he returned and managed to win almost every single round.
Gutierrez was knocked down on the 3rd round. Judges scores: Javier Camacho, 97-91, Omar Mintun 97-91 and Ernesto Saldivar, 98-90, all for Abregu. “It was a tough fight but the clear winner was Abregu,” stated referee Roberto Ramirez from Puerto Rico to this writer.
A jubilant Edwin Valero stated, “I was cut very early, but my strength, my experience and my power overcome and I was able to win. I trained very hard for this fight and I think I showed that in the ring.”
“During the first rounds I could not land my punches, he was hitting me with his jab, but I found my way through and round by round I gained confidence because I could see I was destroying his plan,” Valero added.
When asked what his future plans were, a smiling Valero said, “Well, the fight that the world wants to see right now is a fight that I don’t want. (Obviously referring to a possible Pacquiao-Valero fight) I think that a great fight for me is the one against Manny Pacquiao, but not now. I want to fight out of my division, in the 140 lbs. limit, maybe against Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz in Texas, which is the only place in the United States where I have a boxing license to fight.”
His manager Jose Castillo disclosed that he helped arranged Pacquiao to get a shot at Barrera in November 2003 in San Antonio, Texas while working for a different promotional company. He said, “Tell Manny he owes me one. Maybe, he can give it back by giving Valero a chance to fight him later on.” Time will tell if both exciting fighters will face each other inside the ring but for now, Team Valero should move on and make Valero known worldwide esp. in the U.S.
On the way to the dressing room, Promoter Gary Shaw told Edwin Valero, “I want to congratulate you for a great fight, and let me tell you - I was very impressed how you fought in the ring, even as you were cut and managed to win the fight.” Valero thanked him for the acknowledgement.
Antonio Demarco stated to this writer, “I feel sad for the loss. For now, I just want to be with my family and receive all their love and support.” His promoter told DeMarco earlier that they would continue to fight for a world title later on.
Antonio DeMarco’s wife Tania and their daughter Camila watched the fight from ringside. Photo by Dr Allan Recto.
The ringside physician placed 3 stitches in Valero’s cut according to Juan Carlos Torres of Zanfer Promotions. Both fighters remained in the dressing room. No one was sent to the hospital except boxer Richard Gutierrez. The media people were later advised by Top Rank’s Publicist Ricardo Jimenez that there wasn’t going to be any post-fight conference after all.
It was indeed another historic moment in boxing where Edwin Valero demonstrated he belonged in the elite level of fighters and proved he is something special.
Fighter Richard Gutierrez was taken to San Jose Hospital in Monterrey where this writer, also being a ringside physician, assisted plastic surgeon Dr. Jose Antonio Robles in suturing his cut. After placing absorbable sutures inside the wound, 12 stitches were placed outside in Gutierrez left upper eyelid. Gutierrez revealed to us he had fought Joshua Clottey in 2006 for the IBF Welterweight crown. He lost to Clottey by majority decision.
During my brief interview with him, Gutierrez said, “Manny Pacquiao should not take Joshua Clottey for granted. He could score an upset. Clottey has a good defense. He is fast and strong, and Pacquiao should watch out for his left hook to the body, which is one of his strongest punches. I thought he won against Miguel Cotto.”
From the hospital, this writer joined WBC Executive Secretary Mauricio Sulaiman, Zanfer Promotions Fernando Beltran, Juan Carlos Torres, Fernando Franco, photographer Reiver Rodriguez and other boxing friends at the after-fight celebrations at the Katchin Restaurant in Monterrey.
Zanfer Promotions’ Fernando Beltran, Mexico’s top promoter, with current WBC Super Featherweight World Champion Humberto “Zorita” Soto were present at ringside to watch “La Gran Batalla” – Valero vs. DeMarco (translation - The Great Battle) in Monterrey, Mexico. Photo by Dr Allan Recto.
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