Unbeaten Middleweight Michael Oliveira Next Brazilian Boxing Star in Making
December 8, 2009
(Long Island, N.Y.) – Unbeaten middleweight prospect “Chairman of the Board” Michael Oliveira (10-0, 8 KOs), the heir apparent to revered Acelino “Popo” Freitas, is the hottest thing to come out of Brazil since super model Gisele Bundchen.
There has been a noticeable void in Brazilian boxing since the wildly popular Freitas, 4-time world champion, hung-up his gloves for the final time nearly two years ago. The 19-year-old Oliveira is being positioned to replace Freitas in the hearts and minds of passionate Brazilian boxing fans in South America as well as those living in the United States.
Oliveira, living and fighting out of Miami, is unique among professional boxers, coming from an affluent family, attending Miami Dade Community College, and having only a two-match amateur career.
Boxing, however, was always in his blood. His late grandfather, Joao Oliveira, was an amateur boxer who sparred a few times with Brazil’s all-time greatest boxer, 3-time world bantamweight and featherweight champion Eder “Golden Bantam” Jofre (72-2-4, 50 KOs/1957-1976).
Michael once weighed more than 250-pounds but he now fights nearly 100-pounds lighter as a middleweight with plans to eventually drop down to junior middleweight.
Last week in Coral Gables (FL), Team Oliveira had a coming out party for Michael at Randazzo’s restaurant, owned by former world cruiserweight title contender Mark Randazzo, to celebrate Oliveira’s first year as a pro. Close to 100 attendees included family members, friends, celebrities, business executives, media, sponsors and fans.
“I can’t really explain that experience,” the present UNBC Latin middleweight champion said about last week’s party. “It was a special feeling to see myself in the eyes of people there. Most importantly, though, was to see the smiles on the faces of my family. I really enjoyed myself. I’m grateful to have the tremendous support I receive from everyone.
“I know I still have a long way to go, but someday I want to be world champion and help people understand that there’s more than soccer in Brazil. I want people all over the world to think boxing when they hear Brazil. I box because I love it. I also think it’s important to be a role model and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Oliveira has Hollywood-like, marquee looks but he still lives at home with his mother, two brothers, and father, Carlos, who serves as Michael’s promoter (Rumble Stars) and chief advisor. Oliveira has a fan-friendly, entertaining style that combines an aggressive attack featuring an array of powerful punches thrown with mean intentions. He regularly works out at Normandy Gym in North Miami and is trained by Danny Hawk.
“When Bernard Hopkins trained here (Normandy Gym) for his fight against (Kelly) Pavlik,” Carlos remarked, “he told me Michael has what it takes to be the next Oscar de la Hoya. Coming from a great champion like Bernard, I think that says volumes about Michael’s potential as a boxer, as well as his marketability.”
The journey has just begun for shooting star Michael Oliveira, who carries the pride of Brazil on his muscular shoulders. Go to www.MichaelOliveria.com for more information.
Photo: Oliveira family; Full Court Press
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