Three-time world champion Acelino Freitas (35-0, 31 KO's) faces his toughest challenge when he takes on the dangerous, and slightly favored, Diego Corrales (38-2, 31 KO's) in defense of the undefeated Brazilian's WBO lightweight title on Saturday, August 7th at the Foxwood's Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut.
Freitas, affectionately known as “Popo” to his friends, his native Brazilian countrymen and fight fans world-wide, recently took time from his busy training schedule to lend his support and help in the cause of the Retired Boxers Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to restore the dignity and respect to ex-fighters in need.
Alex Ramos, a former middleweight contender and USBA champion, is the founder and President of the “RBF” and works tirelessly in helping hundreds of fighters annually. “My phone never stops ringing,” states the “Bronx Bomber,” who passionately added, “these guys are my friends, my brothers. I'm a fighter and I'm gonna die a fighter – helping fighters.”
That's where Freitas comes in – fighters helping fighters. With the assistance of his trainer Oscar Saurez (one of boxing's best), Dave Escalet – the training facility owner, and Joe Guzman of Everlast; Freitas recently welcomed the “RBF” to witness his workout – which was precluded by the champ signing a case of Everlast gloves.**
After a rousing and rather physical game of “chase the chicken” – soccer's version of “monkey in the middle” – which served as the fighter's warm up, Freitas put on a dazzling display of movement, hand speed and mind-boggling defensive reflexes during his rounds of shadow boxing with his “Corrales proto-type” sparring partner. The affable Freitas was very entertaining with his best ring impressions of Ali, Leonard and Duran. After work on the speed bag and double-end bags, “Popo's” workout was done.
Though hindered by a language barrier (Freitas does speak Portugese and Spanish) the class and true goodness of Acelino Freitas was very easily transcended. “We (Team Freitas) know what the RBF is doing is very important and 'Popo' has no problem helping” stated Saurez.
Arising from poverty, Freitas and his five siblings slept on dirt floors and often went to sleep hungry. Today Acelino still resides in his hometown of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil where he is a superstar and thought of as royalty. Enduring and overcoming these hardships and obstacles has made Acelino Freitas a world champion boxer. His decency, humbleness and true character make Acelino “Popo” Freitas a world champion person!
** All funds derived from the sale of these authentically autographed Everlast boxing gloves will go directly to the Retired Boxers Foundation (Tax ID # 77-0492319), enabling the “RBF” to help even more fighters. While the “RBF” will NEVER ask or accept a monetary contribution from any fighter, the foundation is hoping more fighters will come onboard and get involved – like Acelino Freitas – and give some of their “time” to help the “RBF's” worthy cause. For further information contact Alex Ramos at (805) 583-5890 or at www.retiredboxers.org.