MIAMI (Dec. 29, 2009)– Undefeated Brazilian middleweight “Chairman of the Board” Michael Oliveira (11-0,9 KOs), 8-0 (6 KOs) in 2009, established himself as one of the top prospects to watch in 2010.
The 19-year-old Oliveira, living in Miami and attending Miami Dade Community College, went into 2009 with three first-round knockout wins in his first three pro fights. The hard-punching teenager fought all over this past year, starting with another first-round knockout of Michael Bradley in Indianapolis, followed by a win by 4-round decision versus Vladmir Laguna in Miami, and then a second-round technical knockout of Guy Packer in Grand Rapids (MI).
Back in Indianapolis, Oliveira knocked out Joe Howard in the opening round and then Michael stepped-up in class to win the vacant UNBC Latin middleweight title on 9/11, taking an 8-round decision against Robert Kliewer (10-8-2) in Pompano Beach (FL).
In perhaps his most significant win to date on November 7, fighting on the Chad Dawson-Glen Johnson HBO card in Hartford (CT), Oliveira pounded Francisco Ruben Osorio (12-6) until he was unable to answer the bell for the eighth round. Oliveira registered another first-round TKO win December 7 against Gustavo De La Cruz and only 11 days later in Haiti, Michael closed his perfect 2009 campaign by stopping Eduardo Mercedes (5-2) in the second round.
Oliveira feels that the area of most improvement was in his maturation process. “I matured a lot this year,” Michael explained, “training wise and making weight. I keep learning in every fight and every sparring session. There’s always something new to learn. I think my best fight was September 11th (vs. Kliewer). I was in great shape and fought my best fight.”
Michael’s father/promoter, Carlos, agreed with his son. “In terms of experience,” he said, “Michael grew a lot and developed better skills. His fights, training and sparring in 2009 made him wiser and more mature.” In and out of the ring, Oliveira is refreshing, engaging and rapidly growing on fans in his native Brazil as well as the United States and elsewhere. At his last fight in Haiti, Michael took the opportunity to meet Brazilian peace keeping troops there and present Christmas presents to children at an orphanage, resulting in him becoming a hometown favorite in a foreign country.
“There were a lot of people there cheering for me,” he noted. “Even the Haitian people liked me. I learned how the Brazilians operate there with the United Nations. They got to know me a little and I got to know them.” “It was unbelievable,” Carlos added. “We all had a tremendous experience in Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world.”
Because Oliveira is being positioned as the heir apparent to Brazil’s retired great boxer Acelino “Popo” Freitas, his tentative 2010 schedule includes a return home to fight in his birthplace, Sao Paulo (Brazil). “I hope that I’m just as busy in 2010 as I was this year with eight fights,” Michael concluded. “My goal is to win, at the very least, a Youth title. But I’m really looking forward to fighting in Brazil. All of my people will be there supporting me but, once the fight starts, it will be like fighting anywhere – Miami, Connecticut, etc. Before and after the fight it’ll be very exciting, but I’ll be 100-percent focused in the fight.”
“We’d like to have Michael fight in Brazil,” Carlos remarked. “The Governor of the State of Sao Paulo declared that, in 2010, Sao Paulo will be the capital of sports in the world. They’re planning a lot of major sporting events, including the first Indy
500-type race March 14 and, hopefully, Michael fighting there April 24.”
Go to www.MichaelOliveria.com for more information. Oliveira’s valued sponsors include The Confianca Moving, The Beira – Mar and Pro 1 from Sao Paulo, Dumonde Travel (Michael’s official travel agency) and the multi-national fuel company, Shell.