By Brent Matteo Alderson, at ringside
It was a magical night in Panama. Edwin Valero 20-0 (20KOs) won the WBA 130 pound title in a breathtaking fight that saw both participants hit the canvas.
Valero came out swinging in the first and had the Panamanian down twice and almost out, but spurred by his countrymen's chants of "Loco," Mosquera courageously stormed forward and weathered Valero's awesome offensive onslaught which included straight lefts, straight rights, and right hooks.
Then in the second the two fighters started to trade and Vicente Mosquera started to stalk Valero and began to land his straight rights until Valero stunned him and forced him to go back against the ropes.
During the third round of the contest, Valero appeared shaken and a bit winded as the Panamanian continued to move forward behind solid straight rights that were causing sweat to fly off the head of Valero. Around the middle of the round, Mosquera put Valero down for a short count and had "El Inca" wobbly, but Valero came back and was fighting on even terms with the determined champion by the round's end.
The crowd began to beat the drums and shouts of "Panama" and "Loco" filled the arena. As the fourth round began, hearing his trainers pleas of "just box, just box him," Valero seemed to reassert himself from the outside and took command during the first part of the round as he bounced his right jab off the head of Mosquera. But, determined to retain his title in front of his countrymen, the Panamanian continued to stalk Valero who seemed fatigued, but regularly landed his right crosses on Valero as he stalked him for the remainder of the round.
During the fourth, the tide seems to have turned in Vicente "El Loco" Mosquera's favor and the crowd was going wild. Then in the fifth, Mosquera hit Valero below the belt and the referee gave Valero some time to recover from low blow. The few seconds of recovery time seemed to be precious at since the hard-punching dynamo had never fought past the second round. In the sixth, Valero reasserted his dominance and pounced lefts off the head of Mosquera as the champion continued to come forward as he was bringing the fight to Valero.
The 24-year-old challenger continued to dominate in the 7th and stunned Mosquera, but the Venzuelan seemed to be tiring again and by the round's end, Mosquera was backing up the undefeated challenger.
It was a see-saw battle during the seventh round, and even though Valero was obviously ahead on points, there was a feeling in the arena that the Panamanian could still come out victorious.
Then around the 8th round, Valero asserted his dominance and continued to outbox the Panamanian from the outside as he bounced powerful shots off of Mosquera's head for the remainder of the fight. The Panamanian's corner jumped in and forced the referee to stop the contest at the 2:00 minute mark of the tenth round.
Edwin Valero has arrived. Even though he is still raw and uses his jab more as a range finder than a weapon, he's probably the most prolific puncher the division has seen since the days of Alexis Arguello. The awesome power displayed by Valero reminds me of when Oscar De La Hoya was a lightweight and easily knocking out such formidable opponents as Jesse James Leija, Rafael Ruelas, and Jorge Paez.
For More on Edwin Valero, please click the link below to read the pre-fight article.
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