Photos by Sumio Yamada
EDWIN VALERO vs NOBUHITO HONMO
Edwin Valero, who weight-for-weight might be the heaviest hitter in boxing, will be looking to keep his amazing knockout streak going when he defends his 130-pound title on the triple championship bill in Tokyo.
Coming out of the other corner will be Nobuhito Honmo, a competent 30-year-old who has not lost since he was outpointed seven years ago at Montebello, CA, during the time when he was training in Los Angeles.
Honmos biggest win was a unanimous decision over the Filipino southpaw Jimrex Jaca, who subsequently fought well against Juan Manuel Marquez. I had a look at him in his last bout, a unanimous technical decision win over a fellow-Japanese boxer named Murakami, and my notes describe Honmo as a quick, accurate puncher but without much power. He was dominating the fight against his southpaw opponent until suffering a cut between the eyes in a clash of heads. Head-clash technical decisions are unfortunately all too common when Honmo boxes: this was the fourth fight of Honmos in the last four years to end on a technical verdict due to a head clash, and in three of those endings he was the one who got cut.
The southpaw style of the Japanese-promoted Valero should not be a problem for Honmo, who has beaten southpaws in his last three fights: what will be a problem is the Venezuelans tremendous hitting power.
Valero, enormously strong for a 130-pounder, simply walks in and blasts his opponents, often very early, with an amazing 19 one-round wins in his 21 consecutive knockouts.
Honmo should be able to hit Valero but he is unlikely to be able to hurt him. Meanwhile Valero will be unloading big punches every one designed to do damage. Add to this Honmos tendency to get cut and it adds up to a relatively short fight. I think that Honmo has the heart and the ability to go some rounds but not too many. I do not see how he is going to keep Valero off him. A four-round, maybe five-round, fight looks about right, although an even quicker finish is always possible when Valero is in the ring.