Last night in Uruguay, a rather absurd fight took place, pitting a 36-year-old former super featherweight who's been retired for five years against an arrogant (for no good reason) middleweight who wanted to make a name for himself as Brazil's new big star. And it could really not have gone much better. Not from where I sit.
Freitas punked the kid. Bad. Then he stopped him in the ninth round, when Oliveira could stand no more. Here are some highlights of the fight:
Listen, I have fighters I like and fighters I don't, same as any fan. But when analyzing and all that crap, I do try to be objective for the most part. I really do. This is not a case where I could do that. I liked Freitas when he was in his prime. He was a terrific fighter, loads of fun to watch. I don't like Oliveira. He's almost a caricature -- he's a spoiled rich kid with all the advantages in life, who with this fight wanted to pick on an undersized, aged, retired fighter, in some ill-advised quest for acceptance and popularity.
How he thought acting like a bully was going to help make him popular is beyond me, but clearly the thought process was a little off. Add in the fact that Oliveira, nicknamed "The Brazilian Rocky," is a lot closer to John Duddy on a bad night than a legitimate star, and you have a recipe for a fighter I just cannot like as a boxing fan. He was pure hype in a way that Canelo Alvarez or Julio Cesar Chavez Jr would find obnoxious. There was nothing to him.
Freitas put the pretender on the canvas in the third round, then dumped him twice in the ninth and got him out of there. Oliveira, 22, is not a relevant pro fighter. He wanted the love and the admiration that comes with being a superstar, which fighters like Freitas have earned over the years. He earned nothing. Freitas may well have sent him out of boxing here. This is an embarrassing loss, and considering his past struggles against club fighters, one wonders if there's any real point of Oliveira continuing to fight. It's not like he needs the money or has any real future in the sport.
As for Freitas, here's hoping he goes back to enjoying his retirement. He can't go out much better than this.