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Edwin Valero denied a work visa, won't be on Cotto-Pacquiao undercard

Contrary to popular belief, Edwin Valero's lack of a brain won't make his earlier brain bleed go away. (Photo via <a href=""></a>)
Contrary to popular belief, Edwin Valero's lack of a brain won't make his earlier brain bleed go away. (Photo via

As mentioned on Tuesday, one of the fights that Bob Arum has been trying to make for the Cotto-Pacquiao undercard was Edwin Valero versus Humberto Soto.  Today, that pipe dream is officially over, as the U.S. has denied Edwin Valero a work visa.  According to the article, Valero thinks this is a matter of political discrimination, but it's really not.  Earlier in the year, Valero was charged with DUI while in Texas, and generally the United States isn't too keen on letting in folks who are facing felony charges just so they can, uh, steal jobs from hardworking Americans. 

At this point, Bob Arum's investment in Valero is looking worse and worse.  For most of Valero's career, he was promoted by Akihito Honda's Teiken Promotions, fighting out of Japan.  While he rarely faced big names, he did win a belt there and managed to get relatively steady paydays, fighting regularly on Japanese TV.  Sensing a star who was knocking out all comers, Bob Arum was happy to sign Valero when his contract with Honda signed, with the hopes of turning him into a star stateside.

It doesn't look like that will happen.  This is just the latest problem in a series of issues with Valero.  First, Valero had a brain bleed when he was younger as a result of a motorcycle accident.  Under the laws of most major boxing states (Nevada, New York, California, New Jersey), it's strictly illegal to license anyone to box who has suffered from a subdural hematoma.  The law is super tough in both Nevada and New York, where it's actually a statute that would need to be overturned by the state legislature, not just some administrative rule that could be changed if you get the right person to pay attention.  The rule basically ended Joe Mesi's career, and it may hurt Valero's career before it really gets off the ground. 

In the summer, there were hopes that the legislature would give the Nevada State Athletic Commission the right to grant exceptions to the rule, specifically so Valero could make fights in Nevada.  As it turns out, the Nevada legislature has more important things to do than pass a law that makes it less safe to box in Nevada.  As long as Valero is a Top Rank property, Bob Arum will keep pushing to get the law changed, but at this point there's zero chance that the law gets changed in 2009.

Second, Valero has shot himself in the foot. He was supposed to fight on the Latin Fury 11 card for a six-figure payday, but backed out of it because he didn't feel he was getting paid enough.  Someone needs a lesson in boxing economics.  To get big fights, you need exposure, and at the end of the day, Valero has still appeared in a grand total of zero non-PPV, non-syndicated fights in the United States.  He won't take any fights for less than huge money, but he can't get those fights unless Bob Arum gifts them to him out of the goodness of his heart.  No network will pay big bucks for a fighter the American public hasn't even seen before.

Finally, he was charged with DUI while in training for Lightweight Lightning, and while the results of those charges are unknown, this is very well something that could haunt Valero for the rest of his career.  As if it wasn't enough of a hurdle that he can't get licensed in most places where big fights are made, now the Federal government will be very hesitant to let him in.  So Valero can rant on about his politics all he wants to, but there's nothing political going on here, just standard operating procedure.  Edwin Valero's own stupidity is keeping him out of the country AND keeping him from getting fights.  Don't be too surprised if he ends up heading back to Japan at the end of his Top Rank contract - at least he was getting paid there.

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