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Old 09-01-2009, 03:27 PM #1
Benncollinsaad Benncollinsaad is offline
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Default Michael Olajide

Any comments on this guy? I've seen two of his fights so far and he lost both. The one with Hearns and the one with Barkley. He gave a good account of himself in both, altho in the latter one his shoes seemed to bother him.
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Old 09-01-2009, 04:48 PM #2
Southpaw16BF Southpaw16BF is offline
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Claude Abrams catches up with a former middle star who has not changed much
Quote:
MICHAEL OLAJIDE is 45 but looks as if he’s in his late-20s. He is still an imposing 6ft 1in, all legs and arms, and in incredible shape – defined, elegant and lean – not to mention remarkably fit. At 11st 6lbs, he’s lighter than he was for the final contest of his 10-year professional career.


One morning in November, the dreadlocked former IBF middleweight title challenger (1987) once known as “Silk” – for obvious reasons – put me through my paces at his plush offices in Greenwich Village, New York, a single story building called Aerospace.


It’s spectacularly clean and refined: deep mahogany floors; mirrors and glass; gym equipment that looks as if it’s barely been used; slick white paint; a smaller than normal ring, where Olajide gives his clients a serious introduction to his world.


Although this is a machine-free sweatshop of sorts, the grunters and groaners who pass through the doors are executives, actors, models. If you perspire on to the floor, you feel an urge to immediately mop it up with your towel.

But you can’t stop the sweat. Olajide leads from the front, pumping out the punches, the speed in his arms still apparent, a tireless bounce in his slender legs, an ever-present grin and not an inkling of strain in his voice as he calmly delivers instructions over the bellowing beat of music.


Olajide arrives promptly for work at 7.30am five days a week and closes the door behind him at 8.30pm. It’s a long day, but he enjoys it.


Although the country’s economy is struggling, Olajide says his business – getting people fit – is thriving.

I notice a sign in the cosy reception area. It’s about the theory of aerotivity, a concept he created (after two years of planning) with ballet dancer partner Leila Fazel in 2005.

It says: ‘In an exercising body, athletics, energy, intent are equivalent forces, producing radical change which is especially noticeable when not only the body but the mind execute aerodrills at a measured velocity and speed approaching that of light’.


Olajide’s philosophy is based on his experience as a professional fighter (1981-91). He had 32 fights, won 27 and lost five.


Born in Liverpool, raised in Vancouver and based in the Big Apple towards the end, Olajide’s an impressive man: cultivated, talented, modest, gracious, warm and remarkably expressive and articulate.


He comes from creative roots. His father, Michael Snr, was a former Nigerian pro. There are two sisters – a younger one who sadly passed away and an older one who is a singer. An older brother is a lead guitarist and his younger sibling, Tukunbo, a former pro fighter now into music.


But it’s his mother’s influence that helped Michael establish himself as a leading coach and the pioneer of teaching boxing to large groups – before TaiBo and Boxercise came to fruition.


“She was a hard worker who led by example,” he said.

“I’ve always been the sort of guy who goes with the flow,” he said, explaining how he doesn’t resist when opportunities come his way.


“Boxing retired me,” said Olajide, who is legally blind in his right eye following an injury that happened long before he actually quit. Now he wears a patch.


He explained how he’d had operations to correct his vision, but they all failed and, at 27, he was forced to quit.

“I still got offers to fight,” he said smiling, as though he still can’t believe it. “There’s ways around it [getting a licence with restricted vision].”


By chance, though – and having good friends, too – Olajide quickly found his feet. He was asked to improve the fitness of injured runners who needed to maintain their cardio by working the upper body, and one thing led to another. Soon Olajide was dreaming big.


The idea became reality after Leila attended one of his classes and later shared in the concept.


“She’s the brains,” said Michael of his partner. “We work so well together. We really complement one another. I’m so fortunate.”


Olajide has no real regrets about boxing or life, because all he experienced helped him get to where he is today. Michael is also happily married, living in Manhattan and father to two boys, aged nine and 12.


Thinking back to his memorable career, he recalls his thriller with Iran Barkley (l rsf 5, 1988). To this day he insists the stoppage was unfair.


Olajide also lost on points to Tommy Hearns (1990) for the WBO super-middleweight title and Frank Tate in one of the last 15-rounders, for the vacant IBF middleweight strap (Michael was favourite going in, but said his eyesight was bad even then).


Yet Michael believes he could have been great. “I had heart and desire, plus the work ethic. I could also punch. I wouldn’t shy away from anything. I sucked everything up like a sponge. It [greatness] just wasn’t in the books for me.”
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Old 09-02-2009, 01:08 AM #3
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He was a decent fighter with pretty good skills, didn't really have a plan B when plan A went out the window though so he was in trouble with guys who could outbox him.
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:34 AM #4
Benncollinsaad Benncollinsaad is offline
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Originally Posted by Silencers View Post
He was a decent fighter with pretty good skills, didn't really have a plan B when plan A went out the window though so he was in trouble with guys who could outbox him.
Or outslug him, in Barkley's case.
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Old 09-02-2009, 10:01 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benncollinsaad View Post
Or outslug him, in Barkley's case.
Yep, Barkley was also doing a good job of jabbing with Olajide if I remember correctly.
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Old 09-18-2009, 05:31 AM #6
Emon723 Emon723 is offline
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he was considered a heir apparent to Marvin Hagler back then.
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