Born in Liverpool, Merseyside, Great Britain, on December 6th, 1963, barely two weeks after the assassination of president John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Michael Olajide moved to Canada in 1970 along with the rest of his family. Growing up in Vancouver, Olajide dreamed of becoming a world champion boxer from a very young age. When Olajide turned 12, in 1975, he was bitten quite hard by the boxing bug. He watched boxing on television all the time and, whenever a major fight was being shown on closed circuit TV in an arena in Vancouver, Michael Olajide was there with his father in the audience, watching, cheering and learning. Michael Olajide was awestruck by Muhammad Ali, who came to Vancouver in 1972 to fight Canadian heavyweight king George Chuvalo for the second time. Olajide idolized Ali and would always tell his classmates why he thought Ali was the best boxer in the world. It was while growing up in Vancouver, British Columbia, that Olajide began his amateur boxing career. Olajide’s amateur boxing career was very successful. However, because Olajide’s family was in desperate need of money, his amateur career was very brief, lasting about 18 months. Looking back, Olajide now feels that if his amateur career was longer, he would have been better prepared (with regard to learning the boxing basics) to fight professionally. Olajide’s father, who acted as his manager and trainer, called all the shots and he was quite eager to have Michael start to get paid for pushing leather. As a result, Olajide had to learn the basics of boxing as a pro, fight by fight, which can be a very dangerous proposition indeed. Olajide’s father was a champion boxer in his country of origin, Nigeria.
Michael Olajide was a boxing promoter’s dream. He was tall, skilled, with quick hands and feet and he was good looking too. Olajide began his fight career in Vancouver, British Columbia, building up quite a sizable local following. It quickly dawned on the young fighter and his father that if he was going to get anywhere in boxing, he had to move to where the action was, New York City. After all, the only reason to become a professional boxer is to make money. No one goes into boxing for the good of their health. Their is a hierarchy in professional boxing. World champions get the most publicity and make the most money in the sport by defending their titles for millions of dollars. Fighters with talent on the way up like Michael “The Silk” Olajide make money, but their earnings increase as they rise through the rankings and get closer to a title shot. Michael Olajide started to make very good money once he hit New York. He was young, single, good looking and he could fight. He was able to sell tickets or, as they say in the boxing world, he could always put “asses in the seats.” Michael Olajide relied heavily on his boxing skills and on his brain because he was not a bona fide knockout artist. That is not to say he couldn’t punch. Far from it, as a matter of fact. If Olajide caught you on the button with the right shot, you’d be out.
To achieve his stated goal of becoming a world champion, Michael got better sparring partners in New York. The downside to that is many of those sparring partners were top notch professionals also looking to improve their boxing skills. As a result, Olajide engaged in a lot of sparring session wars. Too many of these wars took a toll on his eyes, eventually costing him the sight in his right eye. Although Olajide did not win a world title, he still had a very successful boxing career, getting out of the sport with his mind and pocketbook intact. Since his retirement, Olajide has worked extensively as a movie choreographer, helping to choreograph boxing scenes for many big budget Hollywood films such as Ali. Olajide has also done very well as a high-impact fitness instructor, combining boxing with physical fitness to develop a new form of exercise he calls AeroBox. He owns a wildly popular fitness spa entitled AeroSpace, based in New York City. Success has not changed Michael Olajide. He is a gracious and outgoing person, and a very proud Canadian. Recently, he sat down with the Fight Network’s boxing writer Lou Eisen for an interview.