Knucklehead Athlete of the Week: Edwin Valero
By Doug Halberstadt
Sometimes it’s difficult to come up with ideas for a column each week. I try to keep things compelling, timely and, most importantly, original. There are sports writers all across the country putting out hundreds, if not thousands, of sports-related stories and columns each and every day. There are going to be times when we can’t help covering the same issues.
I think I may have finally hit on something that no one else has done before. I want to start taking nominations for my new, and I hope weekly, column, “Knucklehead Athlete of the Week.” For some uncanny reason, there never seems to be a lack of nominees.
This week, the winner is former lightweight boxing champion Edwin Valero. The 28-year-old fighter may not be very well known in this country, but he is a household name in Venezuela. He has a very impressive 27-0 record. All of his 27 wins came via knock out. He knocked out his first 18 opponents in the very first round.
Last Sunday morning (April 18th) Valero left his hotel room in Caracas, Venezuela, around dawn and told hotel security he killed his 20-year-old wife, Jennifer Viera.
This is not the first time the former WBA super featherweight and WBC lightweight champion has been in trouble with the law.
Last month, Valero was brought up on charges of harassing his wife and threatening medical personnel who treated her at a hospital in the western city of Merida. Police arrested Valero following an argument with a doctor and nurse at the hospital, where his wife was being treated for a series of injuries, including a punctured lung and broken ribs.
Valero entered a Venezuelan rehab center March 28 for treatment of drug and alcohol addiction, Mora said at the time. The boxer’s attorney said Viera was injured when she fell down a flight of stairs at the couple’s home while checking a water tank on the roof.
The Venezuela daily El Universal also reported Valero had been arrested recently after a neighbor called authorities and claimed the boxer struck his mother and a sister.
“He’s a boy who is extraordinarily talented in boxing. It’s a shame what is happening,” said WBC president Jose Sulaiman.
Once again, the sports world witnesses another gifted athlete throw his career and, in this case, possibly the rest of his life away. Congratulations to Edwin Valero, my inaugural “Knucklehead Athlete of the Week.”
Feel free to submit your suggestions for next week’s “winner” via my e-mail address.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the April 21-27, 2010 issue
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