History | Feb 06 2019

The tortured soul of Edwin Valero

On the anniversary of his final fight, Kieran Mulvaney tells the terrifying tale of Edwin Valero
Edwin Valero
edwin valero  |  Action Images/Reuters/Danny Moloshok

BEFORE he was a murderer, Edwin Valero was a boxer. And before he was a boxer, he was a boy, born in Venezuela on December 3, 1981 into a life of poverty and hard knocks that led to street fights and trouble with the police from a tender age. It was this shaky foundation that guided him to the prizefighting ring and from which that ring provided escape; it is likely in this harsh, angry soil that the seeds were sown that would ultimately erupt with shockingly violent finality.

Those early years, he would tell confidantes when he first arrived in the United States, were times of theft and motorcycle gangs, of finding an outlet for a tightly-coiled rage, a rage that seemingly never left him, even when he channeled it into the challenges of boxing.

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