Acelino Freitas

From Academic Kids

Acelino Freitas (born September 21, 1975), is a native of Bahia, Brazil, who is a boxer and a former world junior lightweight and lightweight champion.

His nickname is Popů. That nickname was given to him by his mother, after the sound that babies make while drinking milk.

Freitas had a difficult childhood, often sleeping in a sandy floor at his house. Since early in his life, he dreamed of a better place to live for his family. A skilled soccer player, he was more inclined, however, towards the sport of boxing since an early age. Brazil's Eder Jofre, who is generally recognized as the greatest world champion to come out of that country, was one of Freitas' childhood heroes.

Freitas turned into a professional boxer on July 14, 1995, against Adriano Jose Soares. With his win by knockout in the first round that night, Freitas set off a streak of 29 knockout wins in a row, which places as one of the longest knockout wins streak in boxing history. His first 10 wins were against low level competition, but for fight number 11, he took on the much more experienced Edwin Vazquez, knocking him out in the seventh round.

Between 1997 and 1998, Freitas won four more fights and then took on Francisco Tomas Da Cruz, a former world title challenger of Julio Cesar Chavez. Freitas handled Da Cruz with a knockout in two rounds and then added three more knockout wins before getting his first world title try.

That happened on August 7, 1999, when he challenged WBO world Jr. Lightweight champion Anatoly Alexandrov. Freitas became a world champion by knocking Alexandrov out in round one. Soon after, he signed a contract with Cable TV giant Showtime, which began to telecast Freitas' fights to the United States. Freitas then made five defenses of his world title and one non title bout, all of which ended in knockout wins. Then, he went to London, and took only 45 seconds to beat Daniel Alicea (a former world title challenger of Naseem Hamed) in another non title affair.

Freitas then beat the former world champion, Al Kotey, (brother of David Poison Kotey) by a decision in ten before deciding to sign for a unification bout with the WBA world champion, Joel Casamayor, a Cuban refugee who resides in Florida. Freitas dropped Casamayor in round two and went on to add the WBA belt to the WBO one he already had by beating Casamayor by a close but unanimous 12 round decision on January 12 of 2002. Next, he went to Phoenix, to fight Nigeria's Daniel Attah, with only the WBO belt on the line. Freitas kept his world title with a 12 round decision on August 3.

Freitas was able to reach his dream of buying his family a better place to live: He has become a national hero in Brazil, one that evokes memories of the idolatry many Brazilians felt for Freitas' childhood hero, Jofre. Because of that, he has become a campaign spokesman of many companies, to add an extra income to what he already earns from his world title fights.

He has been able to buy mansions for his family, and, in addition to that, he built a soccer field in his own mansion, which allows him to practice his second favorite sport.

This avid autograph signer's fame in Brazil has reached such proportions, that when he got married, his wedding was televised live to all of Brazil, and it broke the all time audience record for a live event in Brazil,

Freitas retained the title in Chicago with a fourth round knockout of Juan Carlos Ramirez. Then, on August 9, 2003, he and Jorge Barrios engaged in what Showtime commentator Steve Albert called a candidate for fight of the year. Freitas was floored in rounds eight and eleven, but retaliated with a knockdown of his own towards the end of the eleventh, and ended up retaining the title by knockout in round twelve.

Freitas' personal life took a downturn that year, however, when he divorced the girl that he married on that televised wedding. Their divorce was very public in Brazil.

Freitas began 2004 by winning a 12 round unanimous decision over Arthur Grigorian on January 4, to become the WBO's world Lightweight champion.

On February 1 of that year, the WBA announced it had named Freitas their 2003 fighter of the year.

On August 7, Freitas lost for the first time, losing his WBO world Lightweight title to Diego Corrales by a tenth round knockout in Conecticut.

His record currently consists of 35 wins, 1 loss and 31 wins by knockout.pt:Acelino Freitas

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