By Robert Coster
Unusual is certainly the case of undefeated super middleweight Michael Oliveira (13-0, 11 KOs). The 20-year-old prospect, born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, raised in Miami, is one who steps into the ring for the pure love of boxing, not out of financial necessity. His father Carlos Oliveira is a wealthy textile industrialist who shares his son’s passion and manages his career. Together they are united in an adventure that may seem puzzling to many. Yet, young Michael will tell you that he has boxing in his blood since his grandfather was one of the great Eder Jofre’s favorite sparring partners.
After starting his career in the United States, Oliveira has now returned to his roots, signed a six bout contract with Brazilian TV giant, TV Globo and on March 25th will be facing his first unbeaten opponent, Argentinian Abel Nicolas Adriel(10-0-2) for the Interim WBC Latino title in his native Sao Paulo.
Says father Carlos, “Michael has the talent and market-appeal to be a star in Brazil. Many already see him as the heir to Acelino (Popo) Freitas.”
Boxing experts will be quick to point out that young Oliveira is being brought along very cautiously and that it is much too early to put the personable young man in the same league as Freitas. To this Carlos Oliveira responds, “Michael had only one amateur fight before turning pro so he is doing on-the-job training. But his progress has been steady and surprising. He has the heart of a fighter and a good punch. We are in the process of honing his skills, fight after fight.” One thing is sure, Michael Oliveira has given Brazilian boxing a much needed shot in the arm and will be the talk of the town in his upcoming fight.