Youth is wonderful asset to have in a fight but intelligence, experience and guile often prevail so long as the fighter possessing those qualities isn't downright ancient.
Thus was the case yesterday in a meeting of two of Brazil's top boxers.
Former super featherweight and lightweight world champion and Brazilian boxing legend Acelino Freitas (39-2, 33 KOs) returned to the ring after a five year hiatus and with no tune-ups to shock and manhandle previously unbeaten, highly-touted prospect Michael "The Brazilian Rocky" Oliveira (17-1, 12 KOs) on Saturday night at the Conrad Hotel & Casino in Punta del Este, Uruguay.
Eighteeen pounds heavier than in his previous outing in April 2007, the 36 year old 153 lb Frietas floored Oliveira at the end of Round 3 and again rocked his opponent in the seventh stanza before flooring his 22 year old foe twice in the ninth to end matters for good.
Perhaps it should be no surprise Frietas manhandled Oliveira? Despite giving up fourteen years and three inches to him, Acelino boasted an 80% knockouts-to-fights ratio and had lost only twice in 40 bouts. In addition, the two men with victories over him, Juan Diaz and the late Diego Corrales, were elite level combatants at the time.
Freitas initially vowed he'd come out of retirement for one last bout to assert his dominance over fellow Brazilian Michael Oliveira and prove to the world he's still 'The Man' in Brazilian boxing. But given his dominant performance over a worthy young upstart yesterday, will Acelino Freitas - now a state legislator for the state of Bahia in Brazil - keep his word? There's a lot of talent and money to be made in boxing's welterweight and jr middleweight divisions.
Mayweather vs Freitas? Cotto vs Freitas? Canelo vs Freitas? Pacquiao vs Freitas?
Before grimacing, it should be noted the very capable Acelino Freitas has defeated the following fighters:
- Zahir Raheem (then 27-1)
- Artur Grigorian (then 36-0)
- Joel Casamayor (then 26-0)
- Jorge Rodrigo Barrios (then 39-1-1)
- Daniel Attah (then 20-0-1)
- Daniel Alicea (then 24-3-1)
- Michael Oliveira (17-0)
A national hero in Brazil, Acelino Freitas is still high in demand in his native land and serves as a campaign spokesman for many companies.
Will wee see the Brazilian juggernaut again in a boxing ring?