1980's Boxing"s Michael Olajide....what could've been.....

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Jamal Perkins, May 20, 2020.

  1. Jamal Perkins

    Jamal Perkins Well-Known Member Full Member

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    .....Blessed with courage and charisma...a well spoken style and will to win....few more handsome or stylist fighters ever stepped in the ring as Michael Olajide jnr...

    Now before I get to the nuts and bolts of this thread..I have an interest to declare...the first ever boxing magazine my father ever bought me at 10 years of age was a KO magazine one in 1987 which heavily featured Michael.It spoke of him as if it was a given he was boxing"s next superstar.

    Now we all know it just didn't work out.....the horrific eye injury in sparring in 1986 as his NBC deal was starting....the odd (for the 80"s) career progression...little to no amateur career...pro at 18 than a slow 3-4 fights a year progression for 6 years.....despite all that the wins in quick succession over Curtis Parker,Don Lee,Hard Rock Green and Troy Darrel were good ones....but ironically considering the slow start... he was than rushed into a title shot in the post leonard-hagler shake up...he got 1 of the tougher assignments at the time..Frank Tate...and was cruelly exposed.....but since he also lost to Hearns and Barkley later....and based on what we saw ..its easy to conclude he was not title level in a very talented tough new era for the Middleweights (1987-1990).

    I"m not here to just conclude he simply wasnt good enough....the point of the thread is...what if.....

    What if Olajide hadnt suffered that injury?
    What if after the Don Lee win his father had decided to bring say...Eddie Futch on board to season the kid for a couple of years before a title fight (He fought FrankTate at 23)...teach him balance..make efficient the basics.....have the kid learn in the gym around a master like Narlon Starling..or a Michael Spinks..while he continued to build up the limelight on nbc......in that scenario...what could he realistically have been in the ring and out of the ring?

    The raw tools were there..a 6ft 1 middleweight with a 77 reach..decent power..speed....what if he had not rushed into a title fight and instead after 2 years of improvement became an inaugral WBO middleweight champion in 1988 and bought himself some time to develop?....what would he have managed in the ring? and what impact would having this stylish,handsome,well spoken young champion have had on the wider world of boxing marketability..?...i personally beleive given the subsequent success Olajide has had as a writer, a superstar personal trainer of Victoria Secret models, his Hollywood film cameos ..his potential ODLH like popularity with females..that this guy certainly would have been a big star worldwide.....rather than being exposed on the hard American circuit right away...he couldve defended his WBO title against the raw Benn of the Watson fight . .. couldve defended against the Eubanks and Watson's....before tackling a few Americans like Julian Jackson or an aged Leonard in 1991

    In short could he have done much more if given better preparation and seasoning? Was he always too fragile ? Which trainer couldve improved him? And what were your views on Olajide jnr during his career run?
     
  2. Roughhouse

    Roughhouse Member Full Member

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    I'm not familiar with Olajide's eye injury. Can you elaborate on it and how it affected his career?
     
  3. Jamal Perkins

    Jamal Perkins Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Olajide fought most of his professional bouts with significant damage to his right eye. The eye injury itself occurred in early 1986 during supposedly routine sparring in the gym against a careless nobody light heavyweight.They were only supposed to be loosening up throwing jabs the other guy apparently didnt hear it was jabs only and ducked and smashed a huge right uppercut on the eye ll spare the gruesome harrowing details but Olajide suffered double vision courtesy of a orbital fracture...he tried eye training exercises to try and recuperate and to adapt he changed his boxing stye by tucking his chin in...but it was a life altering injury ...months earlier in late 1985...Madison Square Gardens had purchased his contract...he was only 22...despite the horrific injury that would within 5 years lead to him being registered blind in that eye and end his career at 27.....Olajide still adapted and during 1986 and early 1987 became the number 1 MW contender...he came close to fighting Hearns rather than Tate for the title.

    So the eye injury more or less ruined his career at an early stage and got worse the more he fought on...yet he still reached no 1 contender status

    He is of course now one of the worlds foremost celebrity personal trainers and pretty much invented boxercise
     
  4. Saad54

    Saad54 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    More hype than substance. Best wins were over fading gatekeepers Curtis Parker and James Green and an inactive Don Lee who bore scant resemblance to the man who stopped Tony Sibson in 1984. Exposed by Frank Tate. I dont think he was rushed. He just reached his ceiling against Tate.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  5. Saad54

    Saad54 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    It definately affected him by the time he fought Milton and Hearns. He got licenced in NY which was strict so not sure how serious it was in 1987-88. He wore a patch in the late 80s.
     
  6. Jamal Perkins

    Jamal Perkins Well-Known Member Full Member

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    The Milton fight ending was wild...and I feel he was jobbed.

    Against Hearns he foughtly very defensivelly than came on hard towards the end.

    The kid had the heart of a champion.
     
  7. Sting like a bean

    Sting like a bean Well-Known Member banned Full Member

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    No one wants to be defeated, but he swallowed his pride and opted to beat it.
     
  8. Jel

    Jel Reserving the right to be inconsistent Full Member

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    That took me a second before I got it!
     
  9. The Morlocks

    The Morlocks Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    His brother was actually the one who could have really made it. But he was more into a jazz career. But could he crack!!!!!!!
     
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  10. roughdiamond

    roughdiamond Bronsonville Full Member

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    Details on this Morlocks?
     
  11. mark ant

    mark ant Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Hearns gassed after hurting Michael and missing too many shots trying to finish him.
     
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  12. The Morlocks

    The Morlocks Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Tokunbo Olajide
     
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  13. PernellSweetPea

    PernellSweetPea Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    He was a good fighter but he lacked a chin which I think hurt him in his fights. With Hearns he was so defensive that he didn't fight until he was knocked down in round 9