Acelino Freitas: Redemption is Sweet

By Ted Sares on June 5, 2012
Acelino Freitas: Redemption is Sweet
Acelino Freitas came back, fought and defeated highly touted Michael Oliveira in Uruguay


Lost in dreadful Geezer “action” over the weekend, another fighter who hasn’t fought in five years (even longer than Winky Wright’s layoff), came back. Acelino Freitas (39-2) fought highly touted and undefeated Michael “The Brazilian Rocky” Oliveira (17-0) in Uruguay and unlike the other fossils and contrary to my own expectations, Popo looked great.

Remarkably, Popo used to fight as a lightweight but this time he was looked extremely strong as he moved up three weight classes. The fight was at 154 pounds and Freitas’ stocky and foreboding appearance was not dissimilar to that of a Jake LaMotta or an in-shape Roberto Duran.

In the third round, Freitas connected with a strong left hook just before the bell that drilled Oliveira into the ropes. It was correctly ruled a knockdown. Then, Popo battered and rocked the upstart until he caught him with a right that decked him hard in the ninth stanza. Oliveira was hurt and could not hold off the incoming former champion as he stalked and pummeled the youngster with great combinations until he finally sent him to Brazilian Dreamland with a rattling left hook to the head. There was no need for a count.

Regrettably—for boxing fans—Popo reportedly said his six-year-old son asked him to fight one more time, since he had never seen him fight. Thus, when Oliveira called him out, Popo’s wish came to fruition. Knowing it was supposed to be a showcase fight and coming out party for Oliveira simply made the experience all the better. Someone should have reminded “The Brazilian Rocky” to be careful; sometimes you get what you wish for.

The win also takes a bit of the sting away from Popo’s “No Mas” loss to Chico Corrales in 2004 and later to his RTD loss to Juan Diaz in 2007. During a weekend when older guys hardly distinguished themselves and two (Mosley and Wright) ended up retiring, one came out of retirement (apparently for just one last time) and put on a superb performance.

Freitas can’t go out much better than this. He now can return to his political activities where he is a state legislature in Brazil as well as a national sports hero.

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  1. EZ E 12:54am, 06/09/2012

    No, this win was good for “Popo”, good for Brazil good for some BUT… remove the still lingering odor of his “No Mas” perfornamces?? Well.. I’m not too sure. Who the heck is Oliveira?? Freitas we know, Corrales and Diaz too but.. OLIVEIRA?? hmmmm… Oh well…

  2. TEX HASSLER 07:48am, 06/07/2012

    Freitas found a great way to end a career and hang up the gloves. Let us just hope he retires for good. Freitas was an excellent fighter and I hope he stays retired. Thanks Mr. Sares for a good article.

  3. The Thresher 03:47pm, 06/06/2012

    Good post Rax

  4. raxman 06:45pm, 06/05/2012

    i always loved Freitas. there was no shame in the way he lost to chico or a fresh baby bull - in fact it was wrong that Freitas corner didn’t save him from the shame of having to quit himself (vs Chico) - a corner’s main priority is to protect the fighter especially from himself but the ego of a fighter also warrants protection. this is a fitting end to a career that should be remembered for taking the “0” from Casamayor rather than for his twin losses

  5. The Thresher 03:44pm, 06/05/2012

    Thanks Mike

  6. mike schmidt 10:49am, 06/05/2012

    Great Story. The Brazil Rocky fought up here in Ontario a few months back—we tried to match him with a 36-year-old middle who has averaged one fight per year the past five years—NO GO—was bound to happen so this “happening” was a feel good story—another kid built up on Friday night TV fights—not even remotely ready obviously.

  7. The Thresher 09:44am, 06/05/2012

    Irish, that works for me.

  8. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 08:31am, 06/05/2012

    Ted Sares- How about geezer vs. geezer for a change…like Bronco McKart vs. Yori Boy?

  9. The Thresher 07:58am, 06/05/2012

    Thanks Dan and Mike. A feel good story for a change

  10. Dan Adams 07:51am, 06/05/2012

    Ted, well said, as usual!  Very proud of “Popo,” and kind of ashamed of Oliveira and his team for calling out a retired fighter who in his prime fought three weight classes below.  Just goes to show you, as you alluded:  “be careful what you wish for; you just might get it!”  As for Freitas, you’re right: his stellar victory erases much of his past failures, and besides, he went out a winner with his young son watching wide-eyed…and that memory, for Acelino and his kid, is priceless.

  11. The Thresher 07:25am, 06/05/2012

    Popo can now quit with his head held high. This is one of the few boxing stories with a happy ending.

  12. The Thresher 07:24am, 06/05/2012

    Jofre was Popo’s hero. Popo was satiisfied with being second best, but when The Brazillian Rocky said he wanted to become second best, Popo said ok, let’s see what you got?

  13. jofre 06:44am, 06/05/2012

    Oliveira got schooled. What were his people thinking? Good for Popo. I too hope he leaves with this positive ending on his resume.

  14. mikecasey 05:42am, 06/05/2012

    Do it like Jofre and finish a winner. What a refreshing story. Here’s hoping Popo sticks to it like Eder did.

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