by Hans Olson
“Those who hate most fervently must have once loved deeply; those who want to deny the world must have once embraced what they now set on fire.” –Kurt Tucholsky
It’s been one year since Edwin Valero died.
One year later, the reality has set in. Acknowledged by time’s special ability to help us understand, Edwin Valero’s death still leaves many without just that: understanding.
Edwin Valero’s death is still a fairly taboo subject; not many want to talk about him, or his horrific final days. According to the facts as we know them, Edwin Valero murdered his wife, and then while in his jail cell, took his own life.
There are many questions surrounding not only his death, but his wife’s as well…but topics of conspiracies are different altogether; something for someone else to write about…someone who knows much more about the specifics than I do.
We must accept that Edwin Valero was a murderer.
How can you eulogize and honor someone when they had committed the worst of all sins?
For Edwin Valero fans as I was…it’s hard. You feel at odds with the best of yourself. You feel guilty for reminiscing about the fighter he was. You feel sorrow for the whole Shakespearean tragedy that unfolded…but feel not angered enough to eliminate him from your thoughts altogether.
Fans of Edwin Valero will surely know what I’m talking about. He wasn’t just a great fighter…he was an anti-hero, a cult icon for fight fans looking for a saving grace. He was boxing’s rock and roll outlaw in the vein of a Brian Jones or Sid Vicious. Edwin had the kind of tenacity in the ring we didn’t know still existed.
27 by way of knock-out.
When Edwin Valero fought, you felt part of a club that knew something others didn’t. When he finally got a shot on Showtime in what would be his final fight, he hammered Antonio DeMarco into submission. You felt something big was going to happen next. Maybe a shot at Timothy Bradley, maybe even Manny Pacquiao.
Unfortunately, something big did happen.
The worst thing imaginable.
I remember following the events leading up to his untimely end. There was his arrest weeks prior. His wife Jennifer was taken to the hospital for what was obviously domestic assault. We all looked away. We had looked away many times before, and still…fans of Edwin hoped things would get better. They never did.
Truly, the saddest part of the entire saga was the death of his 24 year old wife Jennifer, and the children the tragedy leaves behind.
Still, I feel the loss of Edwin to be tragic.
Will the public ever agree? I’m not so sure, but maybe. Carlos Monzon, one of the greatest Middleweights of all time is still regarded as a hero to many, even after he was sentenced to 11 years in jail for killing his wife Alicia Muniz in 1988(Carlos later died in a car accident in 1995 while out on weekend furlough). Monzon was famously rumored to have been abusive towards women, accused many times by his ex-wives and others.
The aforementioned Sid Vicious, the snarling bassist from the Sex Pistols is one of the most idolized figures in music history…and also a murderer.
Hardcore wrestling fans still salute the late Chris Benoit, who killed his wife and child in a bizarre murder-suicide shrouded in questions.
The question that Edwin Valero fans face as we search for more answers is again reiterated:
How do we remember him?
The meaning to our lives is rarely understood for years, sometimes centuries. We search through many ways, attempting to understand why. One year later, few will view Edwin Valero much differently. There are those however, who will still attempt to seek out what Edwin Valero meant, and why to some he still means so much. For those who can separate the horrific end—and even those who can’t—solace many come not in the answers, but what we can learn in seeking.
One day, we may find that what we do know about life is its unforgiving reality.
We’ll still search for meaning.
We’ll still search for answers.
And for people like me and others, we’ll continue to search for Edwin Valero.