When Floyd Mayweather put pen to paper to fight "Sugar" Shane Mosley late last month, boxing fans temporarily breathed a sigh of relief. The sigh was temporary, because we still yearn for a Mayweather-Pacquiao showdown. Prior to that, Pacquiao quickly signed to fight Joshua Clottey.
But that’s the wrong opponent for the Pac Man if you ask me. As a matter of fact, the perfect opponent for Pacquiao is eerily similar to him in terms of power, reach, speed, stance and stature. And it may not be who you think.
Enter Edwin Valero (27-0, 27 KOs)
Like the Pac Man, Valero has a high knockout percentage, has a "69-inch reach (actually two inches longer than Pacquiao’s), has extremely fast hands, is a southpaw, and stands close to 5’7." In many ways, he’s Pacquiao’s Venezuelan boxing twin. Therein lie the similarities.
However, the gulf that separates the two from meeting in the ring (i.e. in the United States) is as wide as the one surrounding Mexico. And that’s not just a geographical play on words. In fact, Valero is not even cleared to fight north of the border.
Valero has been denied a U.S. visa because of a drunk-driving charge in Texas. He also had a severe motorcycle accident in February 2001 that left him with a fractured skull and required surgery to remove a blood clot. He was later indefinitely banned from fighting in the United States after failing a physical in New York.
If you think making the Mayweather fight was difficult, how hard do you think it would be to make a Pacquiao fight against a fighter who is banned from fighting in the U.S., has hardly been seen on television by casual and die-hard fans alike, and is more dangerous than a power line falling into a lake? However, if Antonio Marga-cheato is re-licensed soon, I guess anything is possible.
Ironically, Edwin Valero’s nickname is Dinamita (which translates to dynamite in English), just like Manny Pacquiao’s arch-rival Juan Manuel Marquez. Before he calls it quits, Pacquiao has to fight a Dinamita again, preferably the one we haven’t seen him against (Valero). Pacquiao versus Valero would be the perfect antidote for a super fight gone awry.