Despite coming from a wealthy family, world-rated light middleweight Michael "The Brazilian Rocky" Oliveira (21-1, 16 KOs) believes he was born to box. Oliveira headlines in his home state for the first time on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 7 p.m. ET during "Knockout Night at Hard Rock Live," presented by MO Productions, at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
"Knockout Night at Hard Rock Live" will air live on SporTV, a Brazilian Sports television broadcast affiliate of TV Globo Network and TNC in Argentina.
Oliveira’s grandfather, Joao Oliveira, was a sparring partner for Hall of Famer and Brazilian boxing icon Eder "Golden Bantam" Joffre who is one of Oliveira’s most ardent supporters in Brazil.
"Boxing is something you are born to do," Oliveira remarked. "You can’t teach heart. You either have it, or you don’t. Every day in boxing is a learning experience. Fighters need to be open-minded; like a sponge where you take everything in and apply what you’ve learned to be a better fighter."
Oliveira continued, "I was more of a brawler when I first started boxing. I’ve applied boxing skills to become more of a complete fighter. I also learned how to play with my opponent’s mind to confuse him during a fight. Even after I’m a world champion, I won’t be a perfect fighter because there’s no such thing. Styles make fights and those change from fight to fight and you need to adjust to every fighter and situation."
The Brazilian-born Oliveira, who has lived in Miami since he was an infant, is rated No. 7 by the World Boxing Council (WBC) and No. 11 by the World Boxing Association (WBA). He is the reigning Fecarbox and World Boxing Association (WBA) Fedebol light middleweight champion.
Oliveira takes on Noberto "Demonio" Gonzalez, a former Mexican Welterweight Champion, in the 10-round main event. The 23-year-old Oliveira will be fighting in Florida for only the second time. His first fight there was four years ago in his fifth professional fight.
"This fight is very important for me because I live here and so many of my friends, family and fans haven’t had the opportunity to watch me fight live," Oliveira said. "I’m an international fighter but I’ll have a little advantage fighting at home."
Oliveira is known as the "The Brazilian Rocky" because he has always idolized the late, great heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano whose son, Rocky Marciano Jr., will walk Oliveira into the ring on Nov. 12.
"It means the world to me," Oliveira explained. "I loved the way Rocky Marciano fought and we have a somewhat similar style. To look up to somebody and then have his family member walk me into the ring is such an honor. He has never walked a fighter into the ring."
In the eight-round co-feature, former world champion Yuri Foreman (31-2, 8 KOs) faces Mexican knockout artist Javier "Pelon" Gomez (14-11, 10 KOs). One of the few modern-day Jewish world champions, WBC No. 14 ranked Foreman is an aspiring rabbi who was born in Belarus, moved to Israel, and resides in Brooklyn, New York.
Undefeated light heavyweight Yunieski "The Diamond" Gonzalez (12-0, 8 KOs), a former member of the Cuban National Boxing Team, faces former WBC FECARBOX champion Jinner Guerrero (7-1, 6 KOs) of Ecuador in a 10-round fight.
Also fighting on the undercard are unbeaten Cuban featherweight Hairon "El Maja" Socarras (7-0, 5 KOs) and Bahamian super featherweight Valentino Knowles (1-0) in six-round bouts; Cuban super middleweight Vilier Quinones (5-0, 3 KOs), heavyweight prospect and 2008 Cuban Olympian Robert Alfonso (2-0) and Egyptian light heavyweight Ahmed Elbiali (2-0, 2 KOs) in four-round matches. Gonzalez, Socarras, Knowles, Quinines, Alfonso and Elbiali are all fighting out of Miami. Their opponents will soon be announced. All fights and fighters are subject to change.