CARACAS -- Venezuelan world lightweight boxing champion Edwin Valero committed suicide on Monday in his prison cell, the day after being arrested over the murder of his young wife, police said.
Valero, 28, who hanged himself by making a rope out of his clothes, was apparently still alive when guards found him but died shortly after arriving at hospital from asphyxiation.
The boxer was detained on Sunday after confessing to murdering his 20-year-old wife, Jennifer Carolina Viera de Valero, in a hotel room overnight in the northern Venezuelan city of Valencia.
Local media reports said Valero's wife had been stabbed several times.
Valero had already been arrested at the end of March for suspected aggression towards his wife and had spent time subsequently at a psychiatric clinic. He was also accused of assaulting his mother and sister in 2007.
Unbeaten in 27 fights, knockout artist Valero -- recognizable by the tattoo of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on his chest -- was the WBC lightweight champion before stating his intention in February to go up a division.
The World Boxing Council lists Valero as champion in recess, with the current lightweight title held by Mexico's Humberto Soto following Valero's decision to step up in weight.
After beating Colombian Antonio Pitalua to claim the lightweight title in April 2009, Valero said he would consider stepping up to welterweight to take on champion Filipino Manny Pacquiao.