Name: Acelino Freitas
Birthplace: Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
Hometown: Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
Height: 5′ 6″ / 168cm
Reach: 67″ / 170cm
Boxing Record: click
Trainer: Oscar Suarez
Acelino Freitas is a native of Bahia, Brazil. He is a former junior lightweight and lightweight champion.
His nickname is "Popo" -- given to him by his mother, after the sound that babies make while drinking milk.
Freitas had a difficult childhood, often sleeping on a sandy floor at his house. Early on, he dreamed of a better place to live for his family. Although a skilled football player, he was more inclined 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's childhood heroes.
Freitas was a silver medalist at the 1995 Pan American Games. Freitas then became a professional boxer on July 14, 1995 against Jose Adriano 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 is one of the longest knockout win streaks in boxing history. His first eleven wins were against low level competition, but for his twelfth fight 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 shot. That happened on August 7, 1999, when he challenged WBO junior lightweight champion Anatoly Alexandrov. Freitas became the 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's fights throughout 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 Alfred Kotey, brother of David Kotey, by a decision in ten rounds before deciding to sign for a unification bout with the WBA world champion, Joel Casamayor, a Cuban refugee who resided 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 12 round unanimous decision on January 12, 2002. Next, he went to Phoenix, Arizona, to fight Nigeria's Daniel Attah. Freitas kept his world title with a 12 round unanimous 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's childhood hero, Jofre. Because of that, he has become a campaign spokesman for many companies, to add extra income to what he already earns from his world title fights. He has been able to buy mansions for his family, and 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 his world title in Chicago with a fourth-round knockout of Juan Carlos Ramirez. Then, on August 9, 2003, he and Jorge Rodrigo 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's 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.
On February 1 of that year, the WBA announced it had named Freitas their 2003 "Fighter of the Year."
On August 7, 2004, Freitas was defeated for the first time, losing his WBO lightweight title to Diego Corrales by a tenth round knockout in Connecticut. Freitas quit the fight in that round after taking a severe beating, and has been scorned in the boxing community because of it.
On April 29, 2006, Freitas won a split decision over Zahir Raheem, to capture the vacant WBO lightweight title. He announced his retirement from the sport on October 4, 2006. On April 28, 2007, Freitas returned to boxing to engage in a WBA-WBO lightweight unification bout with Juan Diaz, but once again quit on his stool after the eighth round.
His record consists of 40 wins and two losses, with 34 wins by knockout.
Represented Brazil at the 1995 Pan American Games, in Mar del Plata, Argentina winning a Silver Medal. Results were:
- Defeated Julian Carrero (Puerto Rico) 24-4
- Defeated Francisco Osorio (Colombia) 8-3
- Lost to Julio Gonzalez (Cuba) 6-4
| WBO Super Featherweight Champion
1999 Aug 7 – 2004 Jan 15
Lost bid for Super Championship
| WBA Super Featherweight Champion
2002 Jan 12 – 2004 Jan 15
| WBO Lightweight Champion
2004 Jan 3 – 2004 Aug 7
| WBO Lightweight Champion
2006 Apr 29 – 2007 Apr 28