Friday Night Fights:



With only some blotchy YouTube clips to go by, I had expected Edwin Valero to be the kind of beast who doesn't mind getting hit if that means you're close enough to be crushed and left crying on the ring canvas from a left hook. In other words, he reminded me of the most unsung welterweight/light-middleweight of the early 1990s, "Saigon" Skipper Kelp -- a fighter who was always thrilling to watch in the ring even if he never quite made it to the upper echelons of his weight classes. This highlights video gives you a good taste of Kelp at his best.

By the way, regarding Valero: He's much better than the hype and his 100% KO ratio promised, if that's possible. He's not a Kelp and he's not really a young Manny Pacquiao; he's a much better boxer and more developed than either boxer was at this stage in his career. For one thing, unlike Manny, Valero already has two hands; all he really needs is a Freddie Roach to fill in the holes in his defense and a Bruce Trampler to guide him to whatever level his heart allows. Let's hope that Valero stays in the lightweight division and cleans as much of it out as he can until making weight becomes an issue for him: Valero vs. Juan Manuel Marquez, Valero vs. Funeka, Valero vs. Juan Diaz, Valero vs. Katsidis, Valero vs. Reyes -- not a boring-sounding match in the bunch.

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