Boxer found dead in cell after killing wife
Tuesday 20 April 2010
A day after his arrest on suspicion of murdering his wife, the Venezuelan boxing champion Edwin Valero was found hanging in his jail cell early yesterday morning.
Mr Valero's death, at the age of 28, marked an ignominious and tragic end to the life of one of Venezuela's most potent folk heroes. The boxer, who had won every one of his 27 professional fights, had images of President Hugo Chavez and the national flag tattooed on his chest.
A former WBA super-featherweight champion and WBC lightweight champion, Valero had a troubled relationship with the authorities – and with alcohol. He was accused of domestic violence in March after his wife, Jennifer Viera, checked into hospital with broken ribs and a punctured lung.
He avoided a prison sentence after Ms Viera claimed that she had fallen on the stairs. A restraining order was issued, which the boxer allegedly violated repeatedly.
As the fighter dealt with the allegations of marital violence and entered treatment for alcohol abuse, he found himself listed as "champion in recess" by the World Boxing Council.
Valero was found by another inmate at about 1.30am at the jail in Valencia, 90 miles west of the Venezuelan capital, Caracas. Police chief Wilmer Flores said he had hanged himself from using his own clothes, which he had tied to bars on his cell window.
There had been signs of life when he was first found, but the boxer was later declared dead. People across Venezuela had already been dazed by television images of Valero being escorted to the jail on Sunday after police found the body of Ms Viera, who was 24, at the InterContinental Hotel in Valencia.
She had suffered multiple stab wounds. According to some reports, the boxer had told staff at the hotel that he had killed his wife.
Valero had suffered a brain haemorrhage after a motorcycle accident in 2001, and under rules relating to past head injuries was barred from fighting in the United States. He pursued his career in Latin America and Japan, and appeared at political rallies in Venezuela alongside Mr Chavez.
Valero secured himself a place in boxing lore by winning his first 18 professional fights with first-round knock-outs, a record only recently overtaken by Tyrone Brunson of Philadelphia.
Animals found with 'puncture holes the size of a human finger'
Video: The official full-length trailer for the Jurassic Park sequel has dropped – two days early
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Black Friday 2014: Opening hours for John Lewis, Asda, PC World, GAME and Argos
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
'Underwater Pompeii' found off the coast of Greek island Delos
Ferguson riots: The most powerful images to emerge from protests over Michael Brown killing
Michael Brown shooting: Ten things we know – or know better – now the Ferguson grand jury's work is over
Halle Berry takes ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry to court for allegedly trying to make daughter look less African-American
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A truly exciting opportunity has ari...
£40000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Systems Developer (C/C+...
£22000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An experienced Systems Manager ...
£25000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful, VC-funded star...