Undefeated Michael“The Brazilian Rocky” Oliveira continues his mission to re-popularize boxing in his native Brazil, when he returns home to fight for the third time, July 16 at Credicard Hall in Sao Paulo.
The 21-year-old Oliveira (14-0, 11 KOs), now rated No. 17 by the World Boxing Council “WBC”), takes on the Dominican veteran Jose “Minguito” Soto (24-7-2, 13 KOs) for the vacant WBC Latino middleweight title in the 10 round main event.
“Sao Paulo Fight Night,” presented by MO Productions, will air live on TV Globo Network, SporTV cable, GloboEsporte and TV Globo International, as well as TYC in Argentina.
Oliveira, the two-time defending Brazilian International Press Award’s Athlete of the Year (2009 and 2010), was born in Sao Paulo but he moved two weeks after birth with his family to Miami.
Oliveira, fighting for the second fight in his native Brazil this past March, won a 10-round decision against previously unbeaten Abel Nicolas Adriel in Sao Paulo for the Interim WBC Latino super middleweight crown.
Brazil’s last superstar boxer, four-time world champion Acelino “Popo” Freitas, made his third World Boxing Organization super featherweight title defense in Credicard Hall, one of the largest show arenas in South America, when he knocked out challenger Javier Jauregui in 2000. Freitas showed his support for Oliveira and MO Productions by being a special guest at Oliveira’s last fight.
“The response to Michael fighting at home in Brazil has been tremendous,” MO Productions president and Michael’s father, Carlos, said. “Each fight there has increased his popularity. Michael has been training very hard in Miami with his new trainer, Orlando Cueller. He’s dropped weight, gotten stronger and will be fighting again as a middleweight. We believe his best fighting weight may be at 154-pounds but we’re gradually dropping him down. He’s going to be a force at middleweight and, eventually, dangerous as a junior middleweight.
“We’d like to once again thank TV Globo – this is the third in a six-fight, two year deal we have with TV Global – and the Brazilian Boxing Commission. The fight will also be shown on Argentinean television. Soto promises to be Michael’s toughest opponent so far. He’s had 33 pro fights, fought 100 more rounds than Michael (146 to 46), and been in the ring with world-class fighters such as two-time world title challenger Reggie Green, Anthony Peterson and Darling Jimenez. Soto is definitely a step-up in competition for Michael, but we think he’s ready for this test.”