The editors at CompuBox sent over this post-fight analysis and the PunchStats.
Through his first 26 fights - all of which ended by knockout - Edwin Valero proved he had all the physical skills necessary to dominate. In just 58 rounds as a pro, Valero had captured titles in two weight classes and established himself as one of boxing's most exciting campaigners.
But every fighter who strives for greatness inevitably runs into an opponent or a situation that tests an even more vital ingredient - his mettle. For the Venezuelan fireball, that test came Saturday night against Antonio DeMarco, whose elbow opened a gargantuan cut on Valero's forehead that threatened not only to end his prodigious knockout string but perhaps his title reign altogether.
It would have been easy for Valero to lose his composure and wildly chase after a spectacular knockout. But the 28-year-old South American kept his cool and methodically dismantled his ambitious 24-year-old rival, who at 5-10 stood four inches taller and whose 71-inch reach was two inches longer. In doing so, Valero showcased skills that previously had been overshadowed by his raw power while also proving himself a gritty competitor. In the end, the winner and still WBC lightweight champion found a new way to extend his knockout run. Instead of a stricken opponent lying on the canvas, a thoroughly beaten, broken and dispirited DeMarco was left sitting on his stool at the end of round nine.
How much did Valero dominate? Let the CompuBox numbers count the ways:
* Averaging 93.2 punches per round - 32 percent higher than the lightweight average of 63.7 - Valero out-landed DeMarco by a whopping 270-80 overall. Meanwhile, DeMarco's 37.2 punches per round were 42 percent below the lightweight benchmark.
* Not known as a jabber Valero nevertheless out-jabbed a converted right-hander known for his solid stick 87-47.
* The defending champion's bouquet of combinations powered a 183-33 bulge in power connects, which grew as the fight wore on while also inhibiting DeMarco's willingness to commit to power shots. DeMarco, who threw just 13.7 power shots per round, never reached double-digit connects while Valero, who plowed in 54.9 per round, surpassed that mark in all but the first, where he landed nine. In rounds five through nine, Valero pounded in 128 power connects to DeMarco's 20 while out-throwing him 285-81. All this, no doubt, hastened DeMarco's demise.
* Despite a cavernous 839-335 gulf in terms of attempted punches, Valero was the superior marksman as he landed 32.2 percent of his overall shots to DeMarco's 23.9 percent, enjoyed a 25.2-21.9 percent edge in jabs and a 37.0-26.8 percent gap in connected power punches. This is significant because most high-volume fighters sacrifice accuracy for activity but here Valero's numbers exceeded the lightweight averages in every category (30.4 percent overall, 21.9 percent in jabs and 35.8 percent in power shots).
Best yet for Valero, he showed patience in the midst of crisis as well as the dazzling footwork that inspired then-MaxBoxing editor Doug Fischer to anoint him a future great. Yes, he still has technical flaws such as keeping his hands too low, not tucking in his chin and firing punches with his mouth wide open, but those shortcomings are easily overshadowed not only by his talent but now his mental strength.
Will Valero, who has perennially been compared to Pacquiao, follow the "Pac Man's" path toward immortality. Only time will tell, but Saturday night's victory offers an encouraging indicator. Will this defeat cause DeMarco to careen toward obscurity? To avoid that fate, he must learn from Valero's example.
Full stats after the jump.
Total Punches Landed / Thrown
Jabs Landed / Thrown
Power Punches Landed / Thrown
Final PunchStat Report
Punches Landed / Thrown
|Total Punches||Jabs||Power Punches|
|Valero||270 / 839||87 / 345||183 / 494|
|Demarco||80 / 335||47 / 212||33 / 123|