Acelino Freitas

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Acelino Freitas
Freitas in 2006
Nickname(s) Popó
Weight(s) Lightweight
Super featherweight
Height 5 ft 7 in (170 cm)
Reach 68 in (173 cm)
Nationality Brazilian
Born (1975-09-21) September 21, 1975 (age 42)
Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 43
Wins 41
Wins by KO 34
Losses 2

Acelino "Popó" Freitas (Portuguese pronunciation: [asɛˈlĩnu pɔˈpɔ ˈfɾejtɐs]; born September 21, 1975) is a Brazilian politician and professional boxer. In the sport, he is a former WBO and WBA (Super) super featherweight champion, as well as a two-time WBO lightweight champion. After retiring from boxing, Freitas went into politics, and was elected as a legislator for the state of Bahia, from 2011 to 2014.[1]

His nickname, Popó, was given to him by his mother, after the sound that babies make while drinking milk.[2] Freitas had a difficult childhood, often sleeping on a sandy floor at his house. Since early in his life, he dreamed of a better place to live for his family. A skilled football player, he was more inclined, however, towards the sport of boxing since an early age. Fellow Brazilian Eder Jofre, generally recognized as the greatest world champion to come out of that country, was one of Freitas' childhood heroes.

Amateur career[edit]

Freitas competed for his native country and won a lightweight silver medal at the Pan American Games 1995 in Mar del Plata.

Professional career[edit]

Early success[edit]

After the Pan American Games he 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 César Chávez. Freitas handled Da Cruz with a knockout in two rounds and then added three more knockout wins before getting his first world title shot.

First World Title[edit]

On August 7, 1999, Freitas knocked out WBO Junior Lightweight Champion Anatoly Alexandrov in the first round. 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 had one non-title bout, all of which ended in knockout wins. He then went to London and took only 45 seconds to stop Daniel Alicea in another non-title affair. Freitas then beat the former world champion: Al Kotey, the brother of David 'Poison' Kotei, by a ten-round decision.

Freitas vs Casamayor[edit]

On January 12, 2002, Freitas decided to sign for a unification bout with the WBA world champion, Joel Casamayor, a Cuban refugee who resides in Florida. In a rousing super featherweight unification title bout battle between unbeaten champions, a controversial knockdown and a blatant foul cost Casamayor his unblemished record and his title as Freitas won a close 12 round unanimous decision.

In a classic boxing confrontation between the Brazilian bomber Freitas (129½) and the Cuban boxer Casamayor (129½), the fighters switched roles midway through their encounter in what was reminiscent of Sugar Ray Leonard's first historic face-off with Thomas "Hitman" Hearns back in 1981. The scientist Casamayor became the aggressive slugger, while the puncher Freitas turned into the boxer as once again the unpredictable transpired in a mega-fight.

A glancing right-hand to the neck of the off-balanced Casamayor in the 3rd round was ruled a knockdown by referee Joe Cortez and intentionally hitting on the break in the 6th saw the Cuban penalized another point. It was the difference in the finale tallies and the two point cushion that the tiring Freitas retained across the boards on all three judges scorecards. Ring officials Robert Byrd, Bill Graham and Dave Moretti having identical scores of 114 to 112 for the Brazilian.

After Casamayor[edit]

Next, he went to Phoenix, to fight Nigerian Daniel Attah, with only the WBO belt on the line, winning a 12-round decision on August 3, 2002.

Freitas then retained the title in Chicago with a fourth-round knockout of Juan Carlos Ramirez. 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 began 2004 by winning a 12-round unanimous decision over Artur 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.

Freitas vs Corrales[edit]

On August 7, 2004, Freitas lost for the first time, losing his WBO Lightweight title to Diego Corrales by quitting in the tenth round after being knocked down by a left hook in Connecticut.

After Corrales[edit]

On April 29, 2006, Freitas defeated Zahir Raheem for the vacant WBO lightweight title by split decision. Freitas announced his retirement as a professional boxer on October 4, 2006.[3] Later on, he announced his come back from retirement, and the WBO re-instated him as their lightweight champion.

On April 28, 2007, he fought Juan Diaz in Mashantucket, USA, losing by TKO after quitting on his stool before beginning the 9th round, drawing boos from the crowd.

Professional boxing record[edit]

41 Wins (34 KOs), 2 Losses (2 KOs)[4]
Res. Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Win 41–2 Mexico Gabriel Martinez UD 8 2017-11-11 Brazil Arena Guilherme Paraense, Belem, Para, Brazil
Win 40–2 Argentina Mateo Damian Veron KO 3 2015-08-15 Brazil Arena Santos, Santos, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Win 39–2 Brazil Michael Oliveira KO 9 2012-06-02 Uruguay Hotel & Casino Conrad, Punta del Este
Loss 38–2 Mexico Juan Díaz RTD 8 2007-04-28 United States Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut Lost WBO lightweight title.
For WBA(Super) & IBF lightweight titles.
Win 38–1 United States Zahir Raheem SD 12 2006-04-29 United States Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut Won vacant WBO lightweight title.
Win 37–1 Panama Fabian Salazar KO 1 2005-07-16 Brazil Ginásio Antônio Balbino, Salvador, Bahia
Win 36–1 Argentina David Saucedo UD 10 2004-12-11 Brazil Ginásio do Ibirapuera, São Paulo, São Paulo
Loss 35–1 United States Diego Corrales TKO 10 2004-08-07 United States Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut Lost WBO lightweight title.
Win 35–0 Uzbekistan Artur Grigorian UD 12 2004-01-03 United States Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut Won WBO lightweight title.
Win 34–0 Argentina Jorge Rodrigo Barrios TKO 12 2003-08-09 United States Miami Arena, Miami, Florida Retained WBO/WBA(Super) super-featherweight titles.
Win 33–0 Mexico Juan Carlos Ramírez TKO 4 2003-03-15 United States UIC Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois Retained WBO/WBA(Super) super-featherweight title.
Win 32–0 Nigeria Daniel Attah UD 12 2002-08-03 United States Dodge Theater, Phoenix, Arizona Retained WBO/WBA(Super) super-featherweight titles.
Win 31–0 Cuba Joel Casamayor UD 12 2002-01-12 United States Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, Nevada Retained WBO, & won WBA(Super) super-featherweight title.
Win 30–0 Ghana Alfred Kotey UD 10 2001-09-29 United States Miccosukee Indian Gaming Resort, Miami, Florida Retained WBO super-featherweight title.
Win 29–0 Panama Orlando Soto KO 1 2001-01-27 Brazil Gimnasio Nilson Nelson, Brasília Retained WBO super-featherweight title.
Win 28–0 Puerto Rico Daniel Alicea TKO 1 2000-12-16 United Kingdom Sheffield Arena, Sheffield, Yorkshire
Win 27–0 Argentina Carlos Rios TKO 9 2000-09-23 Canada Casino Rama, Rama, Ontario Retained WBO super-featherweight title.
Win 26–0 United States Lemuel Nelson TKO 2 2000-06-10 United States Fox Theater, Detroit, Michigan Retained WBO super-featherweight title.
Win 25–0 Mexico Javier Jauregui KO 1 2000-03-18 Brazil Credicard Hall, São Paulo, São Paulo Retained WBO super-featherweight title.
Win 24–0 Wales Barry Jones TKO 8 2000-01-15 United Kingdom Doncaster Dome, Doncaster, Yorkshire Retained WBO super-featherweight title.
Win 23–0 Argentina Claudio Victor Martinet KO 3 1999-12-18 Brazil Ginásio Antônio Balbino, Salvador, Bahia
Win 22–0 Costa Rica Anthony Martinez TKO 2 1999-10-26 Brazil Ginásio Antônio Balbino, Salvador, Bahia Retained WBO super-featherweight title.
Win 21–0 Russia Anatoly Alexandrov KO 1 1999-08-07 France La Palestre, Le Cannet, Alpes-Maritimes Won WBO super-featherweight title.
Win 20–0 Mexico Juan Angel Macias TKO 8 1999-04-02 Mexico Grand Hotel, Tijuana, Baja California Retained NABO super-featherweight title.
Win 19–0 England Peter Buckley RTD 3 1998-12-19 United Kingdom Everton Park Sports Centre, Liverpool, Merseyside
Win 18–0 Mexico Jose Luis Montes TKO 1 1998-10-16 Mexico Teatro Mutualista, Tijuana, Baja California, Merseyside Won NABO super-featherweight title.
Win 17–0 Brazil Francisco Tomas Da Cruz TKO 2 1998-09-15 Brazil Ginásio do Ibirapuera, São Paulo, São Paulo Retained Brazilian lightweight title.
Win 16–0 Mexico Juan Gutierrez TKO 1 1998-08-14 Mexico Auditorio del Estado, Mexicali, Baja California
Win 15–0 Brazil Rafael Oliveira KO 3 1998-06-08 United States Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim, California
Win 14–0 Brazil Rildo José Oliveira TKO 1 1998-05-29 Brazil Ginásio Antônio Balbino, Salvador, Bahia Won Brazilian lightweight title.
Win 13–0 Argentina Gustavo Rodolfo Sayaavedra KO 1 1997-11-19 Brazil Ginásio Antônio Balbino, Salvador, Bahia
Win 12–0 Puerto Rico Edwin Vazquez TKO 7 1997-09-02 United States Belle Casino, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Win 11–0 Dominican Republic Hilario Guzman TKO 8 1997-06-27 United States Mahi Temple Shrine Auditorium, Miami, Florida
Win 10–0 United States Johnny Montantes TKO 1 1997-05-10 Costa Rica Unknown, San Jose
Win 9–0 Brazil Arcelio Diaz TKO 1 1997-04-22 Brazil Ginásio Antônio Balbino, Salvador, Bahia Won IBF Latino lightweight title.
Win 8–0 Brazil Antonio Maria Do Nascimento KO 2 1997-03-18 Brazil Ginásio Antônio Balbino, Salvador, Bahia
Win 7–0 Brazil Hamilton Cerqueira KO 4 1997-02-01 Brazil Ginásio Antônio Balbino, Salvador, Bahia
Win 6–0 Brazil Gutemberg Ferreira TKO 2 1996-08-16 Brazil Ginásio Antônio Balbino, Salvador, Bahia Won WBC Mundo Hispano lightweight title.
Win 5–0 Paraguay Ralph Riveros KO 2 1996-04-02 Brazil Ginásio Antônio Balbino, Salvador, Bahia
Win 4–0 Brazil Marco De Lima TKO 3 1995-11-14 Brazil Ginásio Antônio Balbino, Salvador, Bahia
Win 3–0 Brazil Manoel Oliveira da Cruz KO 2 1995-09-18 Brazil Ginásio Antônio Balbino, Salvador, Bahia
Win 2–0 Brazil Valdevino Monteiro KO 1 1995-08-14 Brazil Ginásio Antônio Balbino, Salvador, Bahia
Win 1–0 Brazil Jose Adriano Soares KO 1 1995-07-14 Brazil Ginásio Antônio Balbino, Salvador, Bahia Professional debut.

Personal life[edit]

Freitas has been able to reach his dream of buying his family a better place to live. A national hero in Brazil, evoking memories of the idolatry many Brazilians felt for Freitas' childhood hero, Jofre. As a result, he has become a campaign spokesman of many companies, adding to his income from boxing.

He has been able to help his family financially and has built a soccer field in his mansion, allowing him to practice his second favorite sport.

Freitas' married wife Elena in 2001, they divorced in 2003.

He was Secretary of Sports in Salvador and is member of Brazilian Republican Party.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^
  2. ^ "Acelino Freitas: "I Am The Best"".  " retrieved 15 May 2009.
  3. ^ José Elias Flores Jr."Popó retires!". Archived from the original on 2008-09-30.  4 October 2006. URL accessed 4 October 2006.
  4. ^ Acelino Freitas' Professional Boxing Record –

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Anatoly Alexandrov
WBO Super-Featherweight Champion
August 7, 1999 – January 15, 2004
Title next held by
Diego Corrales
New title
Unified against Joel Casamayor
WBA Super Featherweight Super Champion
January 12, 2002 – January 15, 2004
Title next held by
Takashi Uchiyama
Preceded by
Artur Grigorian
WBO Lightweight Champion
January 3, 2004 – August 7, 2004
Succeeded by
Diego Corrales
Preceded by
Diego Corrales
WBO Lightweight Champion
April 29, 2006 – April 28, 2007
Succeeded by
Juan Díaz