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Lightweight boxing champ Edwin Valero arrested
on suspicion of murdering his wife

April 18, 2010 | 11:28 am


Undefeated former world lightweight boxing champion Edwin Valero has been arrested in Venezuela on suspicion of the murder of his wife, weeks after allegedly hitting the woman and agreeing to attend anger-management rehabilitation.

Valero's arrest comes as his career stands in limbo because of a previous incident with his wife, and another incident that has barred him from fighting in the U.S. The WBC had reportedly suspended him.

Venezuelan Federal Police Chief Wilmer Flores said Valero was arrested after police found the body of his 20-year-old wife in a hotel in Valencia. Valero left the hotel room around dawn on Sunday and allegedly told security that he had killed Jennifer Viera, Flores said.

Flores told state television that police found three stab wounds on Viera's body. He said Valero was transferred to a local police precinct, "where we are headed to take samples needed for the investigation of the case" and to question the boxer.

A representative of his promoter, Top Rank, said before Sunday's arrest that the company had no immediate plans to place him on a fight card until legal and visa issues were resolved.

Valero last fought in February, beating Antonio DeMarco in Mexico.

The 28-year-old fighter is a household name in Venezuela and he has a huge image of President Hugo Chavez tattooed on his chest next to the country's yellow, blue and red flag.

His all-action style and 27-0 record — all by knockouts — earned him a reputation as a tough, explosive crowd-pleaser. Venezuelans call him "Inca," alluding to an Indian warrior, while elsewhere he has been called "Dinamita," or dynamite.

-- Lance Pugmire

Photo: Edwin Valero celebrates his victory over Antonio DeMarco. Credit: Omar Torres / AFP / Getty Images

Associated Press contributed to this report