CARACAS (Reuters) – Champion Venezuelan boxer Edwin Valero hanged himself early Monday from the bars of a prison cell where he had been detained for killing his wife, police said.
Valero — who had held the World Boxing Council lightweight title until recently going for alcohol rehabilitation — was found in his cell with some signs of life but did not survive, said police chief Wilmer Flores Trosel.
“A prisoner nearby heard noises inside the cell and told officials, who immediately went and found the boxer Valero hanging with his own clothes,” Flores told state TV.
The 28-year-old, nicknamed “The Inca,” was charged with stabbing his wife to death in a room at the InterContinental Hotel in the city of Valencia.
Police said Sunday he had confessed to the murder of Jennifer Carolina Viera de Valero, 24.
Valero had a troubled start to 2010, detained in March for mistreating his wife and receiving treatment for alcohol problems. He was listed by the WBC as its “champion in recess” in the lightweight category.
Valero was a high-profile supporter of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. He had a national flag with an image of Chavez tattooed on his chest, and he once shadow-boxed in jest with Chavez.
Valero’s manager Jose Castillo told the local Globovision TV network that the boxer should never have been allowed out of the rehabilitation center he had been in until a few days ago.