At the age of 29, Robson is a one-year pro. A sensational prospect at 130 pounds, he was an elite amateur at the international level – a three-time Brazilian Olympian who, in 2016, became the first boxer from his country to win an Olympic gold medal.
In his last fight on September 22 in Tucson, Arizona, he won by third-round TKO against Carlos Osorio.
ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael reported from ringside [excerpts]: Robson Conceicao, a 2016 Olympic gold medalist from Brazil, battered and befuddled Carlos Osorio of Nicaragua in a third-round knockout victory.
If Conceicao wasn’t stuffing punches in Osorio’s face, he was juking and moving so Osorio could not land a thing. After the third round, Osorio retired on his stool, claiming he threw his right shoulder out on one of his many missed punches. [End Rafael item]
When Robson signed a promotional contract with Top Rank in September, 2016, 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.” [End Rafael 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 went on to win the WBA featherweight world title. In the 2011 World Championships, Robson lost a very close 19-18 decision against Vasily Lomachenko of Ukraine, a two-division world champion as a pro who currently holds the WBO junior lightweight world title, and is universally considered one of today’s top fighters “pound-for-pound.
AMATEUR, PERSONAL BACKGROUND: Robson was born and raised in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, and has eight brothers and sisters…
He said he started boxing at the age of 13 when his uncle Roberto introduced him to the sport…his nickname, “Niño,” was given to him by his father…
Robson reportedly had 420 amateur fights, with a record of 405-15…he is naturally right-handed…
He and his wife, Erika Mattos, have a two year-old daughter, Sofia…
From a Team Conceição press release [Aug. 13, 2016 – excerpts]: As a child, he would knock on car windows trying to sell melting popsicles or roam the streets attempting to flog vegetables.
He grew up fast hawking his meager wares in the city of Salvador, and calls himself a “survivor.”
“I have had a very difficult life,” he said. “I’ve been through so many different things in my life to survive.
“As a child I worked, helping my gran sell things so we could get by. And all the energy, the focus, the determination that I bring to the ring comes from my past and I use that to achieve my goals.”
Money was so scarce that proper boxing equipment was out of the question, so a young Conceição and a friend came up with a plan.
“We had nothing so we did our best to get things,” he said. “I went to the hospital and faked that I had an arm injury. The nurses covered my arm with bandages and then I used those bandages to tape my hands for training and sparring.
“My friend used to put flip-flops on both of his hands for me to punch when we trained.”