The Up and Coming Prospect: Michael Oliveira
James Stillerman - Up and coming undefeated middleweight prospect, Michael “Chairmen of the Board” Oliveira is a pugilist that the boxing community will soon become very familiar with in the near future.
Article posted on 13.09.2010
Despite having only two amateur bouts, both knockout victories and not starting boxing until he was 15 years old, he has gotten his professional career off to a great start in large part due to his incredible work ethic and unrelenting motivation for perfection, which makes up for his lack of ring experience. In less than three years as a professional fighter, he has recorded 12 victories, 10 by knockout.. In only his eight bout, he obtained the UNBC Latin Middleweight Title by beating Robert Kliewer by an eight round unanimous decision. Last year, his boxing success garnered him so much attention, that he was proclaimed the 2009 Brazilian Athlete of the Year, beating out ten highly nominated athletes.
“I couldn`t believe I won the 2009 Brazilian Athlete of the Year especially since I did it against such great Brazilian athletes, such as Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves and NBA players like Nene Hilario and Anderson Varejao,” said Oliveira. “It`s such an amazing feeling and a real honor to win this award and it’s certainty something I didn`t expect. However, it just shows people that if you work extremely hard, dream big and never get discourage than significant things like this can happen.”
The five foot nine inch, baby faced Oliveira who is only twenty years old, boxes everyday in Miami, Florida with his trainer Danny Hawk at Normandy Gym in North Miami Beach, tirelessly perfecting his boxing skills. The humble and soft spoken manner of the orthodox boxer quickly disappears in the ring as he unleashes his entertaining fan-friendly straight forward fighting style of being extremely aggressive and attacking his opponents with a myriad of punches. This fighting style enabled him to knockout 83% of his opponents.
Yet he`s constantly working on becoming a better and more complete fighter. This is why despite fighting eight times last year he has fought only once this year, on April 30th when he knockout Jess Davis in the fourth round. Instead of fighting, he`s working on his speed, having a more accurate and deadlier jab and being in much better physical and cardiovascular shape. Oliveira felt these three aspects of his fighting game needed some improvement in order to take his boxing ability to the next level.
“My career has progressed in the right direction and I thank God everyday for what I accomplished in and out of the boxing ring. I`ve already obtained a title belt after my eight fight but that was just a stepping stone for me,” said Oliveira. “Winning that title means nothing, I want to be the best in the world and a world champion so I`ve to work and train really hard each day for this to happen. It`s all on me as to how far my career can go and I`m determine to accomplish all of my goals and become a big time boxer like my Brazilian boxing idols, Acelino Freitas and Edgar Jofre.”
While most fighters have significant amateur experience and years of on the job training before going pro, Oliveira had neither. He had just two amateur fights and only boxed for three years before making his professional debut against Kevin Bartlett on August 21, 2008, recording a first round knockout victory.
“After two amateur bouts my team and I felt it was the right time for me to go pro. We didn`t feel it was beneficial for me to have 300 amateur fights and become punch drunk which would prevent me from having a long and successful career. Moreover, since amateur is extremely different from the professional level, many amateur fighters develop awful habits which become difficult to overcome at the next level, and I didn`t want that to happen to me. So we all felt it was in my best interest to take my raw talent and go professional and develop my habits in the right manner,” said Oliveira.
Oliveira is back in the ring at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Florida on October 16 for the vacant WBO Youth Light Middleweight Title. He hopes to have a tune-up fight before this schedule fight and then have the October 16th fight against Miguel Cobas who is 9-0, 2KOs. If the Oliveira versus Cobas bout comes to fruition it would feature two undefeated fighters, who are rivals of one another, Oliveira being from Brazil and Cobas hailing from Argentina.
“When I was just fifteen days old my parents moved to the United States from their native country of Brazil in search for a better life for my two brothers and I. While I love Brazil since it’s such a beautiful country that has some much to offer, which is why I visit there for one to two months out of the year; however I still prefer to live in the United States,” said Oliveira. “Living in the United States has allowed my boxing career to flourish because here I’ve better access to equipment, technology, trainers and gyms that I’d not have if I were in Brazil.”
Next year, Oliveira hopes to fight six to seven times, slowly increasing the level of his opposition each bout. During this time, he’ll slowly work his way down to the welterweight division of 147 pounds which he deems to be the ideal weight class for him. He believes in another year and half he’ll in the top 10 in his division and ready for a world title fight.
“I love boxing because this is where I can be myself and express my feelings. It helps to relax me and allows me to release all of my anger and frustration,” said Oliveira. “I want to thank all of my fans for their support of me and to my family for helping me in and out of the boxing ring. I’m going to accomplish significant things in boxing, so everyone better be on the lookout for me.”
A special thanks goes to Bob Trieger for facilitating the interview and to Michael Oliveira for taking time out of his busy schedule to allow me to interview him. For more information on Oliveira and his upcoming fights check out his website at www.michaeloliveira.com.
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