At the age of 27, Robson will be making his pro debut in the United States. A sensational prospect at 135 pounds, he was an elite amateur at the international level – a three-time Brazilian Olympian, and in 2016 became the first boxer from his country to win an Olympic gold medal.
He has signed a promotional contract with Top Rank.
ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael reported [Sept. 2, 2016 – excerpts]: Robson Conceicao, who thrilled the home fans by becoming the first Brazilian boxer in history to win an Olympic gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics last month, has signed a professional contract with American promotional giant Top Rank.
As talented as the 27-year-old Conceicao is – he was also an Olympian in 2012 and 2008 – Top Rank president Todd duBoef sees him as a fighter with a built-in fan base at home who can become a major box-office star.
“The most important thing to me was the incredible connection he has to those fans in Brazil,” duBoef said. “That was A, No. 1. The fighting style, his speed, his power, what he does with his right hand or his left hand – I will leave that to my matchmakers. But his marketability is sensational, absolutely over the top.”
DuBoef said that Top Rank matchmaker Brad Goodman, who attended the Olympics, was blown away by the reaction he saw from the Brazilian fans when Conceicao boxed.
“He said he had never seen anything across the board in terms of enthusiasm in the arena as Conceicao progressed in the Olympics, and especially when he won the gold medal,” duBoef said.
“Obviously, his skills at that level speak for themselves, but the marketability and coming from Brazil, which is a massive country that supports its sports stars, make this the perfect combination for us.”
“He’s mature, and he’s going to jump right into six-rounders and maybe into eight-rounders after two fights,” duBoef said. “We may see quicker transitions to the pros than we have after previous Olympics because of the new rules in Rio.”
Conceicao’s signing is the second major Brazilian one for Top Rank. Following the 2012 Olympics, it signed middleweight Esquiva Falcao, the country’s first-ever boxing silver medalist. Falcao is one of Top Rank’s top prospects.
“This is step No. 2 of our long-term investment into Brazil and the boxing category,” duBoef said. “They’re huge fans of MMA, but it’s also a fertile place for boxing.”
Top Rank has a strong history of developing Olympians from their pro start into professional world champions and star attractions, having done so with fighters such as Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto and Vasyl Lomachenko, to name several. [End Rafael item]
Robson won the lightweight Olympic gold medal on August 16 in Rio de Janiero
The Associated Press’ Greg Beacham reported from ringside [excerpts]: Robson Conceicao couldn’t step up onto a medal podium without thinking about where his climb began.
His mind is never far from his impoverished neighborhood, where he discovered and honed a boxing talent that finally lifted him all the way into Brazilian sports history.
The lightweight won Brazil’s first Olympic boxing gold medal, delighting a frenzied home audience with a unanimous decision over France’s Sofiane Oumiha.
“It’s amazing that my life has changed forever,” Conceicao said.
The largest boxing crowd of the Olympics filled the arena with songs, cheers and foot-stomping craziness for Conceicao, who found his path out of poverty through the boxing rings of the state of Bahia, the sport’s biggest hotbed in Brazil.
“It was an incredible feeling to represent the whole of Brazil and also Bahia,” said Conceicao, who stood atop the podium with his arms raised, basking in cheers. “I continued to fight because of them. They gave me the strength when I was fighting, so it was an incredible feeling. It’s because of them that I got this medal.”
Conceicao fights aggressively, but with a Cuban-style skill base and an elusive fluidity that contains hints of capoeira, samba and the clever style of Anderson Silva, Brazil’s greatest mixed martial artist.
Everybody in Brazil recognizes something in his style, Conceicao suggested earlier in the tournament. And now they’ll all understand the gold around his neck.
The 27-year-old three-time Olympian reached the peak of his skills just in time for his home games, storming through his bracket as the third seed and winning gold.
He credits his abilities to Bahia, where athletic Cuban fighting styles are often taught by imported Cuban coaches.
“Bahia has got the strongest reputation for boxing in the whole of Brazil,” he said. “That’s only because there’s a lot of poverty. A lot of kids are encouraged to box to get out, to escape.”
Brazil had won one silver and three bronze boxing medals in its modest Olympic boxing history, but Conceicao proved he deserved his gold with a strong performance against Oumiha.
Conceicao’s elusiveness, aggressiveness and creative punching kept Oumiha frustrated and hurt for the first two rounds, and a solid third was too late for the Frenchman.
Conceicao collapsed to his knees when the decision was announced. He then jumped against the turnbuckle and onto the ropes, waving his adoration at the singing, roaring crowd.
He eventually climbed out of the ring to kiss his young daughter, Sofia, and his wife, Erika Mattos, who is also a boxer.
After receiving an opening bye, Conceicao advanced to the gold-medal match with a quarterfinal win over Uzbekistan’s Hurshid Tojibaev and a cathartic semifinal victory over Cuba’s Lazaro Alvarez, a three-time world champion and two-time Olympic bronze medalist. [End Beacham item]
As an amateur, Robson had impressive wins against Oscar Valdez of Mexico, who currently holds the WBO featherweight world title, and Jesus Cuellar of Argentina, who currently holds the WBA featherweight world title. In the 2011 World Championships, Robson lost a very close 19-18 decision against Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine, who currently holds the the WBO junior lightweight world title.